Davos, Turkey, China and beyond

Davos, Turkey, China and beyond

At the 47th World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, I heard an interesting Turkey rumor.  It was said that the recently established Sovereign Wealth Fund (UVF) decided to have a strong representation at Davos this year. They arranged meetings and interviews beforehand, and it was rumored that Energy Minister Berat Albayrak was to head the delegation. 

But they decided not to come at the last minute. The reason for the cancellation was also related, but I find it too risky to write about.

Heading the Silicon Davos 

I attended a reception the other evening for Germany’s largest magazine group, Burda. You could learn everything about Davos in this reception. I learned that the WEF has decided to open an office in the digital world’s heart, Silicon Valley. Murat Sönmez has been appointed to head the office. He is the son of my professor, Emel Doğramacı. He is a well-known name in Palo Alto circles. He was a top-level manager for long years there and then he worked for the WEF. 

The San Francisco office of WEF will be in one of the important parks of the city, Presidio. About 100 staff will work in the office. 

China and globalization

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech was a surprise for everyone here in Davos. The leader of the Communist Party very openly defended “globalization.” 

He said there was a time when China also had doubts about economic globalization, but, he added, “We came to the conclusion that integration into the global economy is a historical trend.” 

He called on the entire world to support the global economy. His speech was totally on defending the free-market economy. 

He said the global economy was a big ocean and that it was not possible to go back to isolated lakes. “No one will emerge as a winner in a trade war,” he said. 

While the Chinese president was saying these, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump was giving signals that he would opt for a protectionist economy. 

Look at what kind of days we have reached. Communists are defending capitalism while capitalists are defending policies that have a socialist flavor to them. 

When I’m back in Turkey from Davos, my first job will be to have a chat with my Maoist friends, with Doğu Perinçek. How does he evaluate China’s defense of globalization? Does he regard this as neo-realism or as neo-revisionism?  

I would like to ask the same question to former Maoists such as Halil Berktay, Oral Çalışlar and Ethem Sancak, but they became pro-globalist a long time ago…

Thus, it would be much more appropriate to ask the remaining Maoists. 

Women in Davos 

The Davos Forum has been voicing the same compliant for the past six years: The level of women participants is not adequate. This year, general participation is at a record level; more than 3,000 people are attending. However, women participants did not exceed 18 percent in past years. 

In 2002, this rate was 9 percent; in 2012 this figure reached 17 percent. That year the rate of woman speakers was 20 percent. This year woman participants are 19 percent while woman speakers have reached a record 27 percent.  

But, still, the question is why do women not attend Davos? Do they just not attend or are they prevented by the “corporate established order’s” mail dominant group? 

By the way, I am in Davos not as a journalist but as a participant. It was 10 years ago when the WEF chose the 10 most influential media persons in the world. This group is called the “International Media Council.” I am one of them.