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Record number of heads of state and government to attend WEF

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Preparations are under way for the World Economic Forum in Davos which begins next week. © Keystone / Gian Ehrenzeller

A record 52 heads of state or government are expected to attend the upcoming World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, the organisers said on Tuesday.

They include Swiss President Alain Berset, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Polish President Andrzej Duda and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

France, the UK and US are not expected to send heads of state or government to the gathering, which runs from January 16-20, nor will Russia or China. However, the European Central Bank will be represented by its president Christine Lagarde. More than 2,700 representatives from 130 countries are to attend, organisers told the media in Geneva.  

The US embassy said on Friday that US President Joe Biden would not attend but Washington is sending a high-level delegation including climate envoy John Kerry. Also on Friday, the Swiss army started deploying in Davos to support security for the event.

The annual WEF meeting in the mountain town in southeast Switzerland attracts wealthy, high-profile business and political figures from around the world, along with academics and other leaders of society. 

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