World Economic Forum
World Economic Forum is a not-for-profit organization with headquarters in Geneva, which was founded in 1971 by Prof. Klaus Schwab. The Board of Trustees is responsible for the development of the long-term policy of the organization and the admission of new members. The highest executive body is the Managing Board (since October 2017, H.E. Mr. Børge Brende performs responsibilities as the president of the WEF).The WEF implements a number of international economic programs aimed at combating unemployment, increasing investment in developing countries, innovations in the financial sector, etc. The Forum is organizing of the annual economic forum in Davos, which is attended by heads of states, leadership of business corporations, prominent economic analysts and journalists. Also, key events of the WEF are the annual Meeting of the New Champions in China (issues of digital economy, innovation and technology) and the Sustainable Development Impact Summit in New York. The Forum holds regional summits and plenary sessions.
WEF publishes annual reports and ratings, in particular, the Global Competitiveness Index, the Global Risks Report, the Gender Gap Index, the Tourism and Travel Competitiveness Report. The WEF has developed about 19 systemic platforms, on the margins of which the Forum concentrates its work with the involvement of expert communities.
In 2016 – 2019, Belarus representatives advanced their participation in the WEF events.
On 23 September 2019, as a part of the participation in the WEF Sustainable Development Impact Summit in New York, H.E. Mr. Vladimir Makei, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus, met with H.E. Mr. Børge Brende, President of the Forum. During the meeting they discussed promising areas of bilateral cooperation between Belarus and the WEF. Mr. Vladimir Makei welcomed the decision of the WEF to include Belarus in the Global Competitiveness Index report and reiterated an invitation to Mr. Børge Brende to pay visit to Belarus.
On 24 September 2018 in New York, Ms. Marianna Shchotkina, Deputy Chairperson of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus – National Coordinator on SDGs in Belarus met with Ms. Terry Toyota, Member of the WEF Executive Committee, and discussed promising areas of joint activities to achieve the 2030Agenda.
On 26 – 28 June 2016, a Belarusian delegation headed by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus Mr. Evgeny Shestakov took part in the 10th Annual Meeting of New Champions 2016 in Tianjin (China). On the margins of the event, Mr. Evgeny Shestakov held bilateral meetings with WEF Managing Director Philipp Rösler, President of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Mr. Jin Liqun, as well as leadership of a number of business associations and companies, during which the prospects for bilateral cooperation with Belarus were discussed.
WEF Director for Eurasia Ms. Anastasia Kalinina visited Minsk on 6 – 7 June 2016. The program of the visit included meetings at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Economy of Belarus, the National Center for Marketing of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus, as well as with representatives of the Development Bank of Belarus.
On 18 July 2019 in Geneva, Deputy Minister of Economy Ms. Elena Perminova and Deputy Minister of Finance Mr. Andrey Belkovets met in Geneva with WEF Director for Eurasia Ms. Anastasia Kalinina. During the meeting, participants discussed further steps to develop bilateral cooperation between Belarus and the WEF, including the prospects for the participation of Belarusian business in the projects and activities of the Forum. In 2020, Belarus was invited to participate in three WEF action groups, namely: the COVID Action Platform, the high-level Regional Action Group for Europe and Eurasia, the Eurasia Policy Group at the level of the leadership of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Healthcare, and the Permanent Commission of Belarus in Geneva.
During the meetings of these groups, Belarus promotes its initiatives to develop joint response by regional structures aimed to minimize the negative economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, to prevent a reduction in cooperation ties when establishing new value chains in the post-coronavirus period, as well as to encourage soonest accession of all Eurasian countries to the WTO.
On 31 July 2020, Ms. Martina Larkin, Director for Europe and Eurasia of the Forum, took part in the online investment conference “From Recovery to Sustainable Development”, which was held under the auspices of the Ministry of Economy of Belarus and the UNCTAD. Ms. M.Larkin presented the WEF “Global Reset” initiative and informed about the Forum activities in the Eurasia region.
Belarus ranks 29th out of 153 countries in the WEF Gender Gap Index, which testifies to the effectiveness of Belarus government work to reduce gender inequality, to develop measures for the equal participation of Belarusian women in the socio-economic and political life of the society.
Belarus continues cooperation with the WEF to include our country in the Global Competitiveness Index. On 19 November 2019, the Ministry of Economy of Belarus together with the Secretariat of the Forum and the Eurasian Competitiveness Institute organized a seminar in Minsk for representatives of government agencies and business associations, which was devoted to the preparation of the Index. During the event, the Institute presented interim results of its pilot assessment of Belarus competitiveness. The results could be taken into account when developing state strategies for the economic development of Belarus.