Globalisation under discussion at Crans Montana Forum

World business and political leaders will be exchanging views at the 14th Crans Montana Forum

Leading political and economic decision-makers from around the world are in Switzerland for the annual Crans Montana Forum, where discussions are focusing on globalisation, international trade and development.

This content was published on June 29, 2001 - 07:51

Now in its 14th year the event, which is similar to the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, has become an important platform for the exchange of ideas.

Business leaders are rubbing shoulders with presidents and prime ministers at the three-day meeting in the Swiss Alps. On the guest list this year are the heads of state of Romania and Montenegro, Ion Iliescu and Milo Djkukanovic, and the prime ministers of Tunisia, Madagascar, Ivory Coast and Chad.

Regional security and economic change in the Balkans are among the topics tabled for discussion, with contributions expected from Carl Bildt, the United Nations special representative for the Balkans, and Viktor Chernomyrdin, the former Russian prime minister.

The recent economic development of Turkey will be the subject of a message to be delivered by the country's minister of state for the economy, Kemal Dervis. Dervis, who is making his first official appearance abroad, will talk about the implementation of his reform plan and new foreign investment in Turkey.

Another key item on the agenda is the provision of anti-Aids drugs for the developing world. South Africa's health minister, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, is due to address the meeting, as are representatives of the Basel-based pharmaceuticals firm, Novartis.

Novartis, along with 38 other drug firms, recently dropped a legal action against the South African government seeking to prevent it from importing cheap versions of patented drugs. South Africa is struggling to combat a high level of HIV infection among its population.

swissinfo with agencies

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