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Consequences of world crisis not fully digested: WEF head

Published on 19/01/2011

The world has not fully digested the consequences of the recent economic crisis, the founder of the World Economic Forum said Wednesday, warning that decision-makers must guard against the social impact.

“We are in the past crisis situation — we haven’t really digested all the consequences of the crisis of the last two to three years,” said Klaus Schwab.

“We have to be careful that this crisis does not become a social crisis — which it has in some countries,” he noted.

The chairman of the WEF also pointed out that the one of the dangers in the world today is the “global burnout syndrome”

“The consequences of a burnout syndrome are that you are not anymore proactive,” said Schwab.

“You are much more reactive, you are doing too much firefighting and not strategic thinking,” he explained ahead of the WEF’s annual meeting of political and economic elites in the Swiss ski resort of Davos next week.

Schwab said that the WEF will launch a “risk response network” at the meeting to help political and economic leaders “recognise systemic risks and to mitigate them before crisis situations occur.”

Some 2,500 business and political leaders are set to attend next week’s meeting, with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev scheduled to make the opening keynote address.

His French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy is to outline the G20 agenda under the French presidency, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel is to speak on global and European challenges, the WEF announced.

China will be represented by its Commerce Minister Chen Deming who will outline the Asian giant’s 10 years in the World Trade Organization.

With several trade ministers in attendance, the EU’s trade commissioner Karel De Gucht has organised a meeting with his counterparts from Australia, Brazil, China, India, Japan and the United States to hold an informal discusion on the long-stalled Doha talks for a global free trade pact.