Page last updated at 18:25 GMT, Saturday, 31 January 2009

Live: World Economic Forum 2009

Participant walks past World Economic Forum sign in Davos (30 January 2009)

By David Gritten

Live coverage of the fourth day of the 2009 World Economic Forum at the Swiss mountain resort of Davos. We will be bringing you news, insights from BBC correspondents, some of your e-mails and Twitter, and the best of the blogs. Please refresh the page for updates. (All times GMT, CET -1)

1800 Well, I'm afraid to say our live coverage of the 2009 World Economic Forum has now drawn to a close. The forum does continue on Sunday, albeit in a limited capacity, and we will keep you posted on any major developments on our website's in-depth page. So, in the words of Switzerland's four official languages it's Gute Nacht, Bonne Nuit, Buona Notte and Buna Notg from us.

Tim Weber
1755 The BBC's Tim Weber says: Let's hear it for the optimists at the World Economic Forum, intrepid souls who see the silver lining, spot the opportunity, do not believe that all is lost. And it was possible to find them, provided one looked hard enough...

1730 Czech President Vaclav Klaus criticises those advocating action on climate change by telling reporters at Davos: "I don't think there is any global warming. I don't see the statistical data for that." "I'm afraid that the current crisis will be misused for radically constraining the functioning of the markets and market economy all around the world," warns Mr Klaus, whose country holds the EU Presidency, according to the AFP news agency.

The BBC's Tim Weber tweets: #Davos is slowly winding down. All sessions for the day have ended. Congress Centre empty, people get freshened up for evening soiree. Read tim_weber's tweets.

comment from blogger
Katrin Bennhold blogs on the New York Times: Would we be in this mess today if it had been Lehman Sisters? As one senior finance official, who declined to be identified (presumably for fear of being divorced), put it: "Probably not - women would never have come up with all those sophisticated tools..." But jokes aside, there seemed to be a pretty broad consensus among Davos Women (and, yes, some Davos Men) that if Wall Street had been run by women they would have saved the world from the corrosive gambling culture that dominated many a trading room. Read Katrin Bennhold on

Nik Gowing
1700 The BBC's Nik Gowing says: When we started our broadcasts in Davos three days ago, there was a mood of gloom, of sombre reflection. Now, people can begin to see a way forward. There are perhaps some rays of light behind the mountains on the horizon.

1650 David Arkless, president of corporate and government affairs at the US recruitment firm Manpower, tells the BBC that money from the economic stimulus packages agreed by many European countries should be allocated to retrain and retool the workforce for the future. "We could reduce European unemployment, or at least absorb some of the people that are going onto the unemployment roll, by absorbing them into the workforce, by giving them the right skills."

1635 Victor Chu, the chairman of the First Eastern Investment Group, tells the BBC that the speed of the economic downturn has surprised the Chinese government. "It will probably get worse before it gets better, because China has not so far felt the full impact of the financial brutality that London and New York have felt," he says. But despite the somewhat delayed response, "the economic stimulus package is beginning to take effect", he adds.

1615 Alessandro Profumo, the chief executive of the Italian bank Unicredit, tells the BBC that among those bankers who attended the forum, there was a strong sense of humility. "There is a real willingness to understand where we made mistakes and what we have to change in the future in order to improve our reputation on the one side, and the credibility of the whole industry on the other," he says.

comment from blogger
Harvard University professor Kenneth Rogoff blogs on the New York Times: By far the chirpiest gathering I attended in Davos was on my last night at a private dinner populated largely by top Indian journalists, senior policymakers, and leading Indian businesspeople. [There] was a strong sense of relief that they were living far from the epicentre of the recession, insulated by their country's size and still-comparatively stringent restrictions on international capital flows. Read Kenneth Rogoff on

Tim Weber
1535 The BBC's Tim Weber says: The threat of cybercrime is rising sharply, experts warned at the forum earlier on Saturday. They called for a new system to tackle well-organised gangs of cybercriminals. The internet was vulnerable, they added, but as it was now part of society's central nervous system, attacks could threaten whole economies.

e-mail sent in by reader
Zed Walker, UK says: Gordon Brown says there is no precedent for the global financial crisis, so why can't we discuss alternatives to capitalism? More of your comments.

1515 Dozens of people earlier protested outside the heavily guarded Hotel Seehof in Davos. Carrying banners reading "you are the crisis" and throwing snowballs at security guards, the demonstrators said those at the forum were not qualified to fix the world's problems. "It's the same people who came last year and said the world economic situation is fine, and now we're in a financial crisis. Now it's the taxpayer who has to solve the whole problem," Alex Heideger, a member of the Davos Green Party, told Reuters.

Protesters said those at the forum were not qualified to solve the problems

1455 Riot police have fired tear gas at anti-globalisation demonstrators in Geneva protesting against the World Economic Forum meeting. Some in the crowd of about 1,000 people had thrown bottles at the police after their route to the city centre was blocked.

1445 Mr Lamy says trade ministers are worried because they are "under domestic political pressure and what they hear at home is that trade should go [down] the toilet with the rest of the Washington consensus", principles for stimulating economic growth in developing countries. "Throwing trade out with the bath water is a big mistake."

1435 The head of the World Trade Organization, Pascal Lamy, tells a news conference that developing countries will be particularly vulnerable in the world economic downturn. "Trade is already a casualty of this recession. We are witnessing a huge drop in trade-flows, which in turn generates further unemployment, ruptures of the chain of logistics, and so on," he says. "And of course, as could be expected, the hit is the hardest on developing countries."

1420 Officials tell the Associated Press that the trade ministers' meeting ended with no concrete plan to move forward the Doha round of trade talks. The countries mainly stuck to ritual declarations of support while making no promises of new concessions, they say.

comment from blogger
Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan blogs in the Wall Street Journal: I think there is hope for the future that the right lessons are being learnt. There was a strong push this week to re-examine values and assumptions, and to embed the principles of fairness, transparency, accountability and balance in the governance of the global economy. Without equity being at the centre of our response, we won't find lasting and effective solutions. Read Kofi Annan on

The BBC's Tim Weber tweets: #Davos Trade ministers issue statement: We will sort out final problems in trade round. I've heard them say that in Davos six years in row. Read tim_weber's tweets.

1350 Canadian Trade Minister Stockwell Day meanwhile states: "There is momentum coming out of this meeting". "There was a very strong focus [that] there should be no lapses back into anything protectionist," he adds. "There is a high level of optimism and a high level of desire that something will happen."

1335 Key trade ministers meeting at the forum say they will attach the "highest priority" to resolving their remaining differences this year at the Doha round of trade talks, and that they will refrain from protectionism. "The opening up of markets is the best [thing] we can do to fight the crisis," says Swiss economy minister Doris Leuthard, whose country hosted the talks, according to Reuters news agency.

e-mail sent in by reader
Jaime Sald, Colombia says: Davos should be about global leadership. More emphasis on global issues and less emphasis on national issues. More of your comments.

1315 Thailand's Prime Minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva tells the BBC that the country has turned a corner, with an economic stimulus package having made its way through parliament. Mr Abhisit says Thailand is working with others in the region to reduce the impact of the crisis, adding that Japan's aid offer will be "very helpful".

Bridget Kendall
1300 The BBC's Bridget Kendall says: There were two rueful analogies from the session on the Global Economic Outlook this morning that sum up the mood here. A noted Indian economist, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, said: "Confidence grows as slowly as a coconut tree, and falls as fast as a coconut." The chair of the session, FT columnist Martin Wolf, countered with: "Unfortunately economies don't crash upwards."

1240 Business leaders attending the forum have launched a $100m ($69m) fund-raising campaign to fight malaria in Africa. The Malaria Capital Campaign aims to give every African at risk anti-malaria tools by the end of 2010. News Corporation President Peter Chernin and Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson said $40m had already been committed.

Bridget Kendall
The BBC's Bridget Kendall says: UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown admitted he and others had mistakenly believed global financial markets would help spread risk. Instead, they had helped spread contagion. And the only way to restore trust in banks was to establish new global principles that rewarded hard work and enterprise, but not what he called short term "ridiculous" risk taking.

Tanya Beckett
1220 The BBC's Tanya Beckett says: Advice from the Japanese prime minister to head off the global economic crisis was for more government spending. Japan has a great deal of experience to offer in this financial turmoil. During the 1990s, its economy was propelled into a decade long malaise as Japanese banks struggled with bad loans generated by a property boom. The pursuit of prosperity, Taro Aso argued, is the path to peace.

comment from blogger
Sir Howard Davies, the director of the London School of Economics, blogs on the Financial Times: There's an old saw, often used in government circles, that when it comes to public policy debates, if you're not at the table, you're certain to be on the menu. The bankers have learned that lesson this year. Their low-key presence has itself achieved a high profile in the public prints. In their absence all the world's problems have been laid at their door. Read Sir Howard Davies on

1200 Anatoly Chubais, one of the architects of Russia's transition to a market economy, says its government must come to terms with the full extent of the crisis gripping the economy or face years of decline. "If you cannot do a proper forecast for the world economy, then to work out an annual strategy for the Russian economy... you really must take the worst scenario of all," he tells reporters at Davos, according to the Reuters news agency.

1130 Meanwhile, thousands of people have taken part in a demonstration in Vladivostok, in the Russian Far East, as part of a day of protest over the nation's mounting economic crisis. The opposition Communist Party is holding a rally in Moscow and protests are also expected in St Petersburg and other towns and cities.

1120 In his radio address, Mr Obama also again criticises the payment of bonuses by companies being supported by public money, and says the new plan will "ensure that CEOs are not draining funds that should be advancing our recovery".

1115 US President Barack Obama promises to help lower Americans' mortgage costs with "a new strategy for reviving our financial system that gets credit flowing to businesses and families". "We'll help lower mortgage costs and extend loans to small businesses so they can create jobs," he says in his weekly radio address.

e-mail sent in by reader
Loraine Connon, UK says: Davos amounts to 'right' minded talk followed by wrong minded action. The decline will continue. More of your comments.

1105 Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso says Japan is willing to provide an additional 1.5 trillion yen ($17bn; 11.7bn) for concrete development measures in Asia. In a speech at the forum, he says this will help promote regional growth. The assistance, he says, should include the precondition "that the flow of trade and investment not be prohibited". "We will resolutely fight all protectionism in order to put the world economy back on its trajectory," he adds.

Prime Minister Taro Aso: 'I have decided on an economic stimulus package'

Bridget Kendall
1045 The BBC's Bridget Kendall says: Mr Brown was pretty upbeat given the circumstances. A lot of the conversation, as at other meetings this morning, looked ahead to the G20 meeting in London in April, and what that might change. Mr Brown said it came down to restoring confidence and trust, so banks would lend and consumers would feel more positive.

The BBC's Tim Weber tweets: #davos Brown: I want the IMF to have a completely different role, to prevent a crisis, not to deal with the crisis after it has happened. Read tim_weber's tweets.

1035 Mr Brown also warns that unease about the global financial crisis is no reason to retreat into protectionism and fear. "This is not like the 1930s. The world can come together," he says, adding that the only way forward is through co-operation. "This is a global banking crisis and you've got to deal with it for what it is, a global banking crisis." The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank had been visionary creations when they were founded, but are now out-dated and need to be reformed and redirected, he adds.

The BBC's Tim Weber tweets: #davos Gordon Brown: doing nothing will make this crisis much deeper, much worse Read tim_weber's tweets.

1030 The British leader says there is "crisis of confidence, a crisis of trust in the banking system", but that government action alone cannot solve the problems.

The BBC's Tim Weber tweets: #davos Gordon Brown is asked: As econ crisis strikes, is the UK Reykjavik on the Thames? He says no, we have low inflation, low debt Read tim_weber's tweets.

1025 In a question-and-answer session at the forum, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown says global institutions need to be re-evaluated and rebuilt because "this is the first financial crisis of the global age". "We're learning all the time about how to deal with real problems for which we have no historical analogies to fall back on," he says. "[In the 1930s] they did not have the global financial markets that we have today."

Gordon Brown: 'This is the first financial crisis of the global age'

The BBC's Tim Weber tweets: #Davos Melinda French-Gates: Women are 50% more likely to plough money they earn back into the family. Read tim_weber's tweets.

1020 The BBC's Tanya Beckett takes another look behind the scenes at Davos to find out about how the forum is interacting with people through the web.

e-mail sent in by reader
Iain Connochie, UK says: Davos will not make any difference to sustainable prosperity for the very reason that the word sustainable is not included in the fundamentals of internationalism. More of your comments.

1018 Ministers attending the forum have been calling for renewed efforts to complete the World Trade Organization's long-running Doha round to free up global commerce, in order to restrict protectionism and increase business confidence. "The Doha round is part of the solution," Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim told reporters. "It's one important signal that governments could do."

The BBC's Tim Weber tweets: #Davos The girl effect: Any development money spent on girls is proven to have more impact than any other aid. Read tim_weber's tweets.

1015 The chief executive of Shell, Jeroen van der Veer, tells the BBC that the company has started the global economic crisis with a "pretty strong balance sheet". "We have to figure out a prudent way to invest in the future, because we don't know how the recession will unfold," he says. "You can only rely now basically on your own money."

The BBC's Tim Weber tweets: #davos Nike boss [Mark] Parker: The most neglected & at risk part of world population also those that can make biggest difference on poverty: Girls Read tim_weber's tweets.

0955 Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso will pledge 1.5 trillion yen ($17bn; 11.7bn) in development aid to Asian countries to spur regional growth in his speech to the forum, reports say. The funds would be disbursed "as expeditiously as possible", Deputy Cabinet Secretary Osamu Sakashita said. Details of the aid will be determined at the East Asia Summit in Chiang Mai, Thailand later this year.

The BBC's Tim Weber tweets: #davos in "girl effect" session. [Bangladeshi micro-finance pioneer and Nobel laureate] Muhammad Yunus is inspiring. Read tim_weber's tweets.

Bridget Kendall
0950 The BBC's Bridget Kendall says: Christine Lagarde said it was critical to restore confidence in the broken banking system. It meant the G20 summit in April would be a defining moment. She said in her view, the top priority was to send a clear understandable signal to ordinary people about how governments were intending to act, involving compensation schemes and the possibility of sanctions.

The BBC's Nik Gowing tweets: #DAVOS. France Finance Minister: on world econ challenge for G20 in April: cannot 'let coconut tree grow without compost'. Read NikGowing's tweets.

0945 French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde tells the forum that "social unrest and protectionism are the two major risks of the world economic crisis", according to the AFP news agency. Lagarde says the risks are increased by "having to engage taxpayers' money and by hampered growth". "I think it is a risk in Europe and elsewhere too, which is why I believe time is really of the essence and we are working against the clock," she adds.

The BBC's Nik Gowing tweets: #DAVOS. Increasing voices warning of social unrest over job losses everywhere due to anger that vast bailouts to save banks, not save jobs. Read NikGowing's tweets.

0935 The mayor of London goes on to say that he does not want to "go around banker bashing" and has no doubt that the City is going to remain the centre of world finance as long as it is not over-regulated. "We have the right time zone... we have the skills, we have the language, and we must not lose our nerve," he tells the BBC. "London is the greatest supermarket for money that has ever existed and we shouldn't throw the baby out with the bath water."

0930 Bankers should repay their "debt to society" in the wake of the financial crisis by donating their huge bonuses to charity, London Mayor Boris Johnson tells BBC Radio 4's Today programme. He says workers in the City should show a "much bigger and more public sense of duty" to repair their tarnished image. "My feeling is that the banks and the bankers have a job now to repair their esteem in the eyes of the public," he says.

Tanya Beckett
0920 The BBC's Tanya Beckett says: I suspect that what Gordon Brown has in mind is not what Angela Merkel put forward in a fairly strident and uncharacteristic speech on Friday night. Germany, of course, was not caught up in the origins of the financial crisis and she as good as said: "I told you so".

The BBC's Tim Weber tweets: #Davos just been to web security session. Be afraid, be very afraid. [Tim will do an article on the web security session later this morning] Read tim_weber's tweets.

0915 Gordon Brown is set to take to the floor again later on Saturday at a discussion with French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde. Japan's Prime Minister, Taro Aso, will address the forum afterwards.

Bridget Kendall
0910 The BBC's Bridget Kendall says: Angela Merkel conceded that some might think her vision went too far. But she argued a clear compass was essential to avoid any new financial crisis. She added that anything was possible in a world where, 20 years on from the fall of the Berlin Wall, she - a citizen born into East Germany - could become Germany's chancellor.

0900 The first reactions to calls from Germany and the UK for a radical overhaul of the world's financial system are expected. German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a UN economic council based on the Security Council to manage global economic problems, and for a new international charter to lay down a new economic order. UK PM Gordon Brown also called for economic institutions to be rebuilt.

0850 A survey by the UK employers' organisation, the Confederation of British Industry, says that small and medium-sized businesses are cutting jobs at the fastest rate since the early 1990s. Almost 40% of the 500 firms questioned said the downturn had forced them to reduce their workforce in the three months to January.

The BBC's Tim Weber tweets: #Davos One of the world's top software people calls for world cyber health organisation to fight bot nets Read tim_weber's tweets.

comment from blogger
Stephen Roach, chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia, blogs on the Financial Times: The US business cycle is now being dominated by the post-bubble adjustments of the American consumer that I have long thought would come into play. For that reason alone, I would not extrapolate the severity of the recent declines in US GDP into the foreseeable future. This recession is likely to be known for its duration rather than its depth. Yes, it feels like a firestorm right now. But there should be more ebb and flow in the quarters - and years - ahead. Just ask Japan. Read Stephen Roach on

0835 Late last night, US President Barack Obama described the economic crisis as a "continuing disaster" for American families. Mr Obama said new figures, showing the US economy shrinking faster than at any time in the last 26 years, were further proof that Congress must move urgently to pass his $800bn recovery plan. The figures showed US GDP fell by 3.8% in the final quarter of 2008.

The BBC's Tim Weber tweets: #Davos Into the breach once more: 4 sessions - Is the internet at risk?, The Girl effect (in dev countries), G.Brown, Industrial Outlook Read tim_weber's tweets.

People protest against the World Economic Forum in the streets of Davos (31 January 2009)
Protesters said those at the forum were not qualified to solve the problems

BBC Radio 4 Today programme presenter Evan Davis blogs: I've had a couple of interesting conversations in the corridors of the forum. They're with people from very different perspectives who have raised the same concern: our exit strategy. Not so much the exit from the recession - people are suggesting policies to help us escape that all the time. No, the exit some are worrying about is the exit from those very policies. Read Evan Davis' blog.

0805 Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of the fourth day of the 2009 World Economic Forum at the Swiss mountain village of Davos. We will be updating this page throughout the day, bringing you insights from BBC correspondents, some of your emails, Twitter, and the best of the blogs. As ever, we would love to hear what you make of the summit's developments.

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