Swiss President opens Davos summit with call for "responsible globalisation"

The World Economic Forum summit in Davos has been officially opened by the Swiss president, Adolf Ogi. He called on the assembled political and business leaders to proceed with globalisation in a responsible manner.

This content was published on January 27, 2000 - 20:24

The World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos has been officially opened by the Swiss president, Adolf Ogi. He called on the assembled political and business leaders to proceed with globalisation in a responsible manner.

Ogi told the international gathering in the mountain resort of Davos that "it is up to you to ensure free-trade is compatible with the good of the global community.".

He said that while capital movements could generate progress, productivity and prosperity, they could also force whole economies and nations into depression.

He said this power meant that industry and commerce had growing social responsibilities, and that the evolution of the world economy should therefore be determined by society as a whole.

Ogi reminded delegates of the protests at last year's trade summit in Seattle and said these were "a clear sign of the mistrust felt by many regarding globalisation".

The president said the chief aim of the economy was not to generate maximum profits for shareholders, but rather to help achieve liberty and justice. He said politicians should therefore seek a more global role, by fixing global rules for economic development.

The opening session was also addressed by the Italian author Umberto Eco and Singapore's trade minister, George Yong-Boon Yeo.

By Tom O'Brien

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