DPM Tharman, Heng Swee Keat, S Iswaran to attend World Economic Forum

DPM Tharman, Heng Swee Keat, S Iswaran to attend World Economic Forum

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat and Communications and Information Minister S Iswaran will attend the 49th World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos-Klosters Switzerland. Brandon Tanoto reports.

DAVOS-KLOSTERS, SWITZERLAND: Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat and Communications and Information Minister S Iswaran will attend the 49th World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos-Klosters Switzerland. 

They will be attending the meeting, themed Globalization 4.0, from Tuesday (Jan 22) to Friday. 

READ: Climate risks, data theft top fears for Davos

Mr Tharman, Mr Heng and Mr Iswaran, who is also Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations, will participate and speak at various sessions on issues including global trade, financial governance, infrastructure development, the digital economy and artificial intelligence, according to a press statement by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). 

Mr Heng will be speaking at a session discussing China’s Belt and Road Initiative on Tuesday, as well as another on the global geopolitical outlook on Wednesday.

He will also speak at a separate panel on globalisation hosted by the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University, where about 200 WEF delegates are expected to attend.

The three Singapore ministers will be accompanied by officials from PMO, the Finance Ministry and the Ministry of Communications and Information. 

This is the second time that three ministers from Singapore will be attending WEF. 

In 2008, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, then Minister for Foreign Affairs George Yeo, and then Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, Dr Lee Boon Yang attended the annual meeting.

PM Lee, who was ASEAN chair, attended the ASEAN High-Level plenary session, which featured a dialogue between the regional bloc's leaders and WEF participants. 

READ: With Trump out, Mnuchin and Pompeo to lead US delegation at Davos

READ: French President Macron will not attend Davos forum this year

This year, an array of crises will keep several world leaders away from the meeting, including US President Donald Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The White House said Trump cancelled his delegation's trip to Davos because of the US government shutdown, while Macron is said to have a busy schedule in relation to the "Yellow Vests" protests. 

British Prime Minister Theresa May will also be skipping the meeting as she battles to find a consensus on Brexit

Leaders who will be attending however include Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel as well as New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. 

Source: CNA/Reuters/ad(hm)

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