Programme of members of the Federal Council attending the 2024 WEF Annual Meeting
Bern, 12.01.2024 - The 54th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum is taking place in Davos next week. Six members of the Federal Council will be attending. President Viola Amherd will open the event together with WEF founder Prof. Klaus Schwab on Tuesday, 16 January.
At the Annual Meeting, members of the Federal Council have the opportunity for many more contacts and discussions; at least 40 bilateral meetings are expected to take place. Programme changes are always possible, even at the last minute.
President Viola Amherd, head of the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS), will meet with heads of state and government while in Davos. She will focus on Switzerland's relations with European countries and the European Union (EU). The security situation in Europe and the Middle East, as well as the sluggish global economy, will also be key topics of discussion.
Federal Councillor Karin Keller-Sutter, vice president of the Federal Council and head of the Federal Department of Finance (FDF), will use the Annual Meeting in Davos to discuss various international financial issues, particularly those related to developments in economic growth and debt and their impact on the international financial architecture. Bilateral meetings are planned with the finance ministers of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed Al-Jadaan, and South Africa, Enoch Godongwana, as well as with IMF Director Kristalina Georgieva and the president of the Financial Stability Board, Klaas Knot.
Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin, head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER), will use the Annual Meeting in Davos to promote various thematic priorities in the areas of business, trade, research and innovation. Bilateral talks are planned with Vietnamese Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính (together with President Viola Amherd), German Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection, Robert Habeck (together with Federal Councillor Albert Rösti), and the Moroccan Minister for Trade and Industry Ryad Mezzour, the Moldovan Minister for Economic Development and Digitalisation, Dumitru Alaiba, the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Education, Iliana Ivanova, the President of the World Bank Group, Ajay Banga, and the President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Odile Renaud-Basso. In addition, the relevant ministers of the World Trade Organization (WTO) will meet on the fringes of the Annual Meeting to prepare for the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference, which will take place in Abu Dhabi at the end of February.
Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis, head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), will focus his activities in Davos on the situation in Ukraine, the Middle East conflict and the European dossier. On the fringes of the Annual Meeting, he will chair the 4th meeting of the National Security Advisers with Ukraine on President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's peace formula on 14 January. During the Annual Meeting, the head of the FDFA, together with President Viola Amherd, and the Ukrainian authorities, will take part in an event on humanitarian demining in Ukraine. A meeting with European Commission vice president Maroš Šefčovič is scheduled to discuss relations between Switzerland and the EU. In addition to the various bilateral meetings with Federal Councillor Cassis, which will focus on the abovementioned priority topics, the head of the FDFA will also take part in a conference on science diplomacy and quantum computing.
Federal Councillor Albert Rösti, head of the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC), will open the Advancing AI-Powered Sustainable Development panel. There are also plans to continue the discussions that began on 2 November 2023 during the AI Safety Summit in London. Federal Councillor Rösti will also be one of the keynote speakers at the Re-Thinking Energy Infrastructure panel. He will take part in a panel discussion with Brazilian Energy Minister Alexandre Silveira de Oliveira and use the opportunity to hold further discussions. This event at the Annual Meeting is being organised among others by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE), the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and ETH Zurich.
Federal Councillor Beat Jans, head of the Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP), will use the annual meeting to establish contacts in the area of migration. The bilateral meeting with Iraqi Foreign Minister Fouad Hussein on Tuesday will focus on deepening cooperation on migration. The head of the FDJP will discuss the recent visa liberalisation and judicial and police cooperation with Kosovan Prime Minister Albin Kurti. Mr Jans will also take part in the Refugee Employment Alliance, founded in 2022, to share experiences of successful strategies for the labour market integration of refugees from Ukraine. On Wednesday, he will open the Digital Wallets Panel together with digitalswitzerland’s managing director Stefan Metzger.
The ‘House of Switzerland’ at the 2024 WEF Annual Meeting
Official Switzerland is once again represented at this year's annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) at the House of Switzerland. Run by the FDFA’s Presence Switzerland unit, with the support of the Federal Office for Buildings and Logistics, the House of Switzerland will be located downtown at the arena that is home to HC Davos. It will serve as a venue for meetings and dialogue with facilities for meetings of members of the Federal Council, the Swiss delegation and their international guests and partners. A series of thematic events will also be organised in cooperation with various federal offices and players from the worlds of politics, business and science. The programme focuses on current foreign policy issues and the protection of Switzerland's interests abroad. The topics range from the impact of artificial intelligence, peacebuilding, sustainability in the financial system, data management and science diplomacy to energy and mobility infrastructures, where Switzerland presents solutions in a global context.
Address for enquiries
Communication Presidential Affairs Unit, Federal Chancellery
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The Federal Council
Federal Department of Justice and Police
General Secretariat DDPS
Federal Department of Finance
Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research
Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications