Page last updated at 08:04 GMT, Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Davos 2011: Day 1 as it happened

A logo of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, 24 January 2011

By Michael Hirst

Some 2,500 business and government leaders are in the Swiss ski resort of Davos for the annual World Economic Forum. The BBC will be bringing you minute-by-minute coverage, analysis from our team of experts and correspondents, and your reactions.

1850: Right, that's it for our coverage today. Thanks for popping by. We'll be back with more live Davos coverage from 0800 tomorrow. The focus will turn to the eurozone, with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou taking to the main stage. There'll also be an appearance from JP Morgan bigwig Jamie Dimon, and an audience with former US President Bill Clinton. We hope you'll join us again.

Dmitry Medvedev
1842: Mr Medvedev tucks his tablet under his arm and exits stage left. He clearly wanted Russia to present itself as open, modern and innovative, but foreign companies are more concerned about the country's rule of law. The recent second verdict against former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky was seen by many as a reminder of the all-pervasive nature of politics in Russia. Russians themselves are well aware that how the country wishes to be perceived often finds itself at odds with how it is actually viewed. This year, with an ambitious privatisation programme to get underway, Russia needs to put its best foot forward. Its central role at Davos has given important insights into how it plans to do that. Check out the latest BBC news story on Mr Medvedev's speech

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1835: Daniel Gross tweets: Medvedev's entourage, complete with military dude carrying ominous briefcase, most intimidating projection of force at Davos. Read Daniel Gross' tweets.

1833: As Mr Medvedev finishes up, WEF founder Klaus Schwab takes a seat beside the Russian leader to pose a few questions. Many delegates are leaving the room, though: With evening sessions including one on "Social Network Addiction", Maybe they're off to get their pre-dinner facebook fix.

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1821: Frank Jordans tweets: Medvedev is amazingly blunt in his Davos speech: Russia struggling with rule of law, has many social problems, corruption. Read Frank Jordan's tweets.

1809: Ambitious stuff, this: As well as encouraging foreign investment, especially in financial services companies, Mr Medvedev says Russia hopes to establish a common economic area with the European Union.

1804: And a warning shot to Moscow's critics. Russia welcomes friendly advice, says Mr Medvedev. "But we are the way we are."

Dmitry Medvedev
1801: It's tough to tell from here, but it looks like Mr Medvedev is reading his speech from an iPad. He's certainly got ideas about the development of internet regulations, suggesting they need to be looked into at the next G20 gathering. Heavy stuff. And is that a twitch of a smile from the leader's lips as he mentions being brief about his next 10 points?

Tanya Beckett
1757: The BBC's Tanya Beckett takes a look behind the scenes at the media machinations on the mountains of Davos, comparing the BBC's operation with that of some of our international competitors:

Dmitry Medvedev
1750: Following this speech on Twitter? Mr Medvedev says some 1bn people are using social networks and that thanks to internet, people are being united by a single cause. "Perhaps that's for the better," he muses, while inserting a caveat. "But there's a dangerous dimension to these processes, serving as an instrument for extremists who fuel ethnic hatred, and for people trafficking drugs, for terrorists."

1742: Taking the floor to open this ear's forum, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev describes this week's bomb attack on Domedodovo airport as a tragedy that shook the entire Russian society, saying the attackers had intended to bring Russia to its knees. "They miscalculated," he says firmly. "Russia is aware of its place in the world, Russia is aware of its responsibilities to its citizens and the world community. That's why I'm speaking from this rostrum today."

Tim Weber
1737: The BBC's Tim Weber tweets: Jose Carreras said thank-you for his #davos #wef Crystal award by singing a dainty little number...ok, it was proper aria Read Tim Weber's tweets.

1735: Having "broken the pound" during the 1992 currency crisis, forcing a sterling devaluation, legendary investor George Soros has been laying into the UK again, this time saying the government's austerity policy could push the country back into recession. Thanks, George. Read Tim Weber's report for more details.

1729: Probed on the recent corruption scandals that have rocked India, Indian Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia is unwaveringly confident about Indian growth and insists his country has not lost the confidence of the international community. "People will judge us on how we react with the investigation into the corruption," he tells BBC World News.

comment from blogger
1721: Padding now before today's headline event - the opening address by Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev. A proper Davos player. Meanwhile, in case you missed it, here's The Economist's handy graphic on the runners and riders at this year's WEF.

1711: Hold tight, they're rolling on the piano. Could it be... Yes! It's the glitzy part of the day - the Crystal Awards Ceremony, which honours artists who have used their art for the betterment of the world. One of this year's recipients is Slumdog Millionaire music composer AR Rahman. Jai Ho!

Cooks prepare food on the opening day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, 26 January.
'How many sprigs of economic stimuli did you say this soup needed?'

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1700: The official WEF stream tweets: World is doing too much fire-fighting, we see global burnout characterized by micro optimism and macro pessimism - Forum Chairman Schwab #WEF Read WEF tweets.

Tim Weber
1653: Tim Weber tweets: Oh my word, they're blowing gargantuan Swiss "Alphorns" in the main hall of the Congress Centre. Run for cover. Read Tim Weber's tweets.

1649: If reading all about what's going on at Davos has left you wishing you were there, take a look at our picture gallery for more on this year's event.

comment from blogger
1620: Justin Fox blogs on the Harvard Business Review: A lot of really important, talented, influential people never show. The Davos crowd is more accurately that subset of the world's important people, along with a bunch of posers like me, who think it's worth their time (update: and, in the case of CEOs, their hundreds of thousands of dollars) to spend a week sitting around in windowless meeting rooms in the Swiss Alps. Read Justin Fox's comments

1610: As boss of one of the UK's biggest companies, Bob Dudley is asked about the contraction of the UK economy. He warns against reading too much into one quarter's figures, but seems reassured that the government is taking some tough decisions and ends with a rather matter-of-fact comment: "That is the world we are living in in 2011."

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1600: Mayor of London Boris Johnson tweets: On my way to Davos to promote our great city to the world. Read Boris Johnson's tweets.

1558: Igor Sechin - who is also Rosneft chairman - is paving the way for his President's speech in a couple of hours' time, talking about how his country's modernisation programme will be key to economic growth in the future. The Rosneft-BP deal is just one example of this, he says. Deals have also been done with General Electric and Chevron. Reporters seem more keen to ask him about the Khordokovsky case, however.

comment from blogger
1550: The British Council has sent five teenagers from around the world over to the event. Daniel Joshua Cullum from New Zealand is obviously excited about the opportunity as he blogs:"This week is going to be the man." Read more blogs from the Davos teens on the British Council website

1545: The BP press conference has just got under way. Featuring chief executive Bob Dudley and Igor Sechin, Russia's deputy prime minister. They officially signed the BP-Rosneft deal this morning, the deputy PM says.

Tim Weber
1536: The BBC's Tim Weber tweets:George Soros called and the #davos media came ... not sure, though, whether we learned a lot. Except that austerity might fail. Or not.. Read Tim Weber's tweets.

1531: Delegates this year are literally spoilt for choice when it comes to the sessions on offer. Talks ongoing at this very moment include "Building Bridges with Brush Strokes" and "Risks and Opportunities of the Water-Food-Energy Nexus". Decisions, decisions.

tweet
1524: Who is Davros? Nope, me neither. Hanlon-o-Tron seems to know, tweeting: #Davos? Damn I thought #Davros was trending. Do not worry your time will come my geeky friends, the geek shall inherit the Earth. Read Hanlon-o-Tron's tweets

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1518: It appears the previously clear distinction between public and private sessions at Davos is breaking down. Tech nerd Loic Le Meur tweets: Our #davos session is "off the record" but the room is tweeting what we say like crazy =cool. Read Loic's tweets

1513: How do you feel - peachy? If not, there's an app for that. Well, there isn't, but if Michael McCallister, chairman of the WEF's Workplace Wellness Alliance, had his way, there probably would be. A focus of Davos this year is workplace wellbeing - better understanding the link between employee wellness and productivity. "Healthy work environments are essential to a business's bottom line," says Mr McCallister. Read more here.

1505: Over at Reuters, Ben Hirschler says business leaders in Davos have welcomed the fact US President Barack Obama was addressing his country's gaping budget deficit, but question whether he has gone far enough to give investors real confidence.

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1459: Bradley Honan tweets: "#Davos elites see global #economic shift east, south" Read Bradley Honan's tweets.

1454: There's a really bullish feeling among many economists gathered at Davos. Gerard Lyons, chief economist of Standard Chartered - a bank with most of its operations in emerging economies - predicts the world is about to enter a super-cycle of high economic growth that could last decades. Not everybody agrees, though. While things are undoubtedly looking up, the WEF itself warned in its recently published Global Risks report that recovery could be fragile and that the world was ill-equipped to cope with another financial crisis.

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1449: Scott Feldman tweets: "Digitization means streaming & storing our entire lives online. EVERYTHING is becoming a stream!" Loic @ #WEF #davos Read Scott Feldman's tweets.

1441: Economist Laura Tyson tells us the atmosphere in the Swiss Alps this year is very different to previous forums. "Two years ago there was a lot of doom and gloom about the financial crisis, last year there was uncertainty, and now there's more confidence in the business community that the global economy is on a rebound," Ms Tyson told BBC World News. She said themes of innovation and competitiveness are in tune with points made by US President Barack Obama in his State of the Union address on Tuesday.

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1429: Charlie Beckett's got nothing but love for the WEF so far, tweeting: LSE brings out very big guns for Ideas Lab at #davos11 Davies Stern Barr & Bandiera on 'doing better with less'. Read Charlie Beckett's tweets.

1422: If "social change" was a song, would it be a Coldplay tear-jerker or a Katy Perry floor-filler? Davos may have an answer. The forum is about much more than pinpointing problems and generating ideas: It's also about discovery, networking and socialising with your peers. Every night, the resort's hotels will be hosting dozens of parties and receptions, and catering for exclusive and very private dinners. Stressed executives, meanwhile, can broaden their minds in sessions like "Shakespearian leadership", "Music for social change" and "Powerful portraits: what's in a face".

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1409: Calm down, dear. The World Economic Forum's official stream tweets: Things are heating up: Italian journalist, in sleeveless T-shirt, asks for heating in the media centre to be turned down. :) Read official WEF tweets here.

comment from blogger
1406: Business magazine Forbes has published a list of 69 - count them - billionaires expected to turn up at Davos on its blog. They herald from 20 countries and include Lakshmi Mittal, Bill Gates and Alexei Mordashov. If you're not on the list and think you should be, let us know and we'll make a call.

Passengers stand on the wing of the ditched airliner
The pilot responsible for 'the miracle on the Hudson' two years ago is enjoying the mood at Davos

1402: Okay, so he's not strictly a celebrity, but one of the 2,500 participants rubbing shoulders with the power-brokers at Davos is Capt Chesley Sullenberger, a retired pilot. If that name doesn't ring any bells, think of planes being brought down in New York's Hudson river. "Sully" was credited with saving 155 lives with his quick thinking. What does he make of Davos? He's "enjoying the mood", according to the Associated Press. And he's having a warm reception. Almost as many people are on the waiting list for his session as there were on his plane that freezing January afternoon two years ago.

comment from blogger
1345: London School of Economics and Political Science director Sir Howard Davies blogs on the Financial Times: Your correspondent's economy was on the verge of a Chinese-style episode of overheating when another panellist, with a marginally lower boiling point, went over the top. This discussion is taking place "on the moon", he colourfully observed. Read Sir Howard Davies's comments on FT.com

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1340: Claire Boonstra tweets: Having lots of fun together with @geraldine - we are both being approached all the time on 'the female thing': not many women #wef #davos. Read Claire Boonstra's tweets.

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1330: Yatish K Rajawat tweets: Rich collect at Davos, discuss the world problems, come home & lobby for their own personal corporate interests. Why shud #davos matter. Read Yatish K Rajawat's tweets.

1326: China's rapid growth in property prices has been a cause of concern. December saw the fourth month-on-month increase in a row. Xin Zhang, chief executive of property developers SOHO China, told the BBC that China's market economy had proved to be stronger than the government thought, which could pose a real problem for the administration down the line.

e-mail sent in by reader
1319: Amir Dewani from Florida writes: This is a unique opportunity for the "world leaders" in business, finance and politics to get together. However, the value of such a meeting is to be measured by the positive impact on the quality of life of the people around the world. Commodity supplies are shrinking. Food, water and energy resources are also depleting. And poverty eradication or even its reduction is discussed no more. This forum carries the impressive title: World Economic Forum. So, why not give some thoughts toward sorting out such issues?

1317: Business Insider's editor-in-chief Henry Blodget reveals what goodies were in his Davos bag in this picture gallery.

e-mail sent in by reader
1313: James Peterson has this juicy morsel to throw into the melting pot of debate, emailing from London: Who do the Irish or the Belgians send to the WEF? Given that both have no proper government in place it would be interesting to know who is representing their interests - and that of the Ivory Coast too.

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1310: The Washington Post's Raju Narisetti tweets: Disappointing. 30 mts into wef middle east/north africa panel and everyone studiously avoided saying the words tunisia or egypt #wef #davos Read Raju Narisetti tweets.

1305: Being invited to Davos is a big deal, but the honour doesn't come cheap. Membership of the WEF is a pre-requisite, and costs several thousand euros; a ticket for each annual event costs nearly 20 grand. But that doesn't get you into the VIP section of the private sessions, where the big dogs rub noses. "Industry associate" level access costs 150 large. Then again, as no big-biz-wig wants to be seen without an aide/advisor/lackey, you'll need two of those tickets at least. And if you want to make waves with an entourage, "strategic partner" membership costs a tear-jerking 500k. And that's before you've even considered transport and hotel costs. Now where did I park my jet?

1255: Economics guru Ken Rogoff turns his attention to the eurozone debt crisis and tries to put "in denial" governments on the right track. He tells BBC World that "there will be defaults" on government debts and calls on countries to acknowledge this. Denial of the possibility means there is no plan for the eventuality, he says. And that's a big problem.

1250: Some would gripe about being in White City in West London rather than on the snowy white slopes of a luxury ski resort. But it's actually really hard work. Check out the latest from Carolyn Rice, one of our team of producers on piste/location: "The BBC team are based not far from the main conference centre in a building that normally houses fit ski-instructors. After walking the five flights of stairs to our mini 'broadcast centre' it's not hard to see why strong legs are a benefit." And did we mention that it's really cold?

More from BBC Business behind the scenes at Davos.

comment from blogger
1244: Over at the New York Times, Jack Ewing writes that the era of contrition for bankers may be over. "After being on the defensive for the last two years, there were signs that bankers attending the World Economic Forum here were pushing back more assertively against attempts by regulators to cramp their style," he says.

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1237: Dara O'Rourke tweets: "Celebrity" sightings (nerd version) at #wef Davos: Tom Friedman, Koffi Annan, Jeff Sachs, Michael Dell, and Reid Hoffman just walked by. Read Dara O'Rourke's tweets.

1230: Amid all the optimism, there has been a notable tone of caution from business leaders warning that surging food prices could spark fresh social unrest. There are also continued concerns about the situation on the Korean peninsula and the Middle East process.

Davos transport
The luxury ski resort has a different take on the idea of a cab-share
1222: So is the global economy set for a big recovery this year, asks the BBC's Tim Weber in his latest piece from Davos? The painful process of paying off debt - both in the private and public sector - is still ongoing. Especially in the United States, the government deficit was "the big gorilla in the room", said Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive of advertising giant WPP. It is unlikely that this would be tackled until after the presidential and congressional elections in 2012. Sir Martin also proposed to remove the words "emerging" and "developing" from the lexicon, they did not fit economies with the size and dynamism shown by China, India, Vietnam, Brazil and many others.

Tim Weber
1212: The BBC's Tim Weber tweets: We have a blizzard here in #Davos. No, not snow, but surveys of CEOs and the economy, supplied by big accounting, PR and recruitment firms. Read Tim Weber's tweets.

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1205: Vincent VQuickborne tweets: Introduced myself as 'minister'. They thought I am a 'priest'. Ai. #WEFbe. Read Vincent VQuickborne's tweets.

1155: Robert Scoble blogs why Elisabet de los Pinos is his first Davos hero: "She isn't cynical.
comment from blogger
Talking with her she is clearly an idealist. She believes she can find a way to get her innovations out to both rich and poor. She hasn't yet lost the sparkle in her eye. Translation: the pharma industry hasn't beaten her down yet and I hope it never does."

Read Robert Scoble's blog

Tanya Beckett
1150: The BBC's Tanya Beckett tweets: Just about to interview Oleg Deripaska. Now that's what I CALL an oligarch. Read Tanya Beckett's tweets.

1148: Sartorial etiquette might not be expected to top concerns among the world's economic elite, but you wouldn't believe how many people have googled "what to wear at Davos" since the start of the year. It's a real quandary. Do gents go for a tailored suit and run the risk of catching a chill and ruining their Gucci loafers? Do ladies opt for a power heel or an ice-friendly snow boot? Decisions, decisions. Vanessa Friedman has more thoughts on the issue over at the Financial Times.

1139: Harvard University's Ken Rogoff tells the BBC there's an optimistic - verging on euphoric - atmosphere among the delegates at Davos this year, with fears of a global double-dip recession having abated. However, Prof Rogoff adds that rising unemployment and resulting political problems, such as increased protectionism, do pose challenges in the long run.

e-mail sent in by reader
1133: Ottoabasi Abasiekong from Nigeria emails: I believe among the growing challenges in the world - which include growing concerns of food crisis, fears of growing unemployment, challenges in the manufacturing industries and the eurodebt crisis - is a call for pro-capitalists to strategise and evolve new policies that are balanced with a view to safeguarding the global political economy from a further decline.

Tanya Beckett
1129: The BBC's Tanya Beckett assesses the importance of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's message later. He's expected to tell some of the world's most important business executives that his country is a place where they should invest.


1125: A survey of chief executives published on the eve of the annual event suggests that business confidence is nearly as strong as before the start of the global financial crisis. Some economists coming to Davos will argue that the world economy is set for long-term growth.

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1110: Shawn Ahmed tweets: Definitely feel a lot of acceptance and respect here. Great discussions, lots of intelligence and insight, and no snark or egos. Read Shawn Ahmed's tweets.

1104: Lars Olofsson - chief executive of Europe's biggest retailer Carrefour, who is in the audience for "The West Isn't Working" session - says his main concern is getting Europe growing again. "How do we help Europe in the short and medium term?" he asks. "Because without growth, I'm going to be pretty pessimistic."

Snow-covered chairs
These open-air chairs - if indeed that's what they are - look pretty, but haven't seen much use so far during the WEF

1056: Philip Jennings, general secretary of the UNI Global union, issues this call: "Stop this rush to the exit with these austerity measures we're seeing from government." They're going to do more harm than good and aggravate unemployment, he says.

1052: We'd love to hear your thoughts on the moving and shaking in Davos, and while we can't promise to publish them all, we will do our best. Contact details are just over on the right of this screen. Please flag tweets with the hashtag: #bbcdavos

comment from blogger
1048: WPP Plc (China) chief strategy officer Scott Spirit is a guest writer for the WEF official blog: "There's clearly competition between countries for share of voice at Davos and Country Branding plays an increasingly important role here. Switzerland always scores highly by being such an organised and gracious host. Having your President or Prime Minister here certainly scores points, a supporting cast of business leaders sprinkled with the occasional celebrity adds more weight."

Read Scott Spirit on the WEF official blog

1045: Over at the Washington Post, Moises Naim has been debunking commonly held myths about Davos. Many conspiracy theorists think it's where billionaires and politicians put their heads together to plot world-changing schemes about geopolitics, trade, or the off-side rule. Not so, says the Carnegie Endowment associate. The event does have its significant moments, though, from Turkey and Greece's signing a declaration dispelling the risk of war in 1988, to the unprecedented meeting at an international event between Nelson Mandela and South African President FW de Klerk in 1992.

Robert Peston
1040: The British are coming... Business editor Robert Peston is en route to Davos and has blogged about the controversial attempts by News Corp to buy the whole of BSkyB. The wranglings are reported to be the reason Rupert Murdoch has decided not to make the journey to Switzerland himself.

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1030: Felix Haas tweets #davos #wef getting busy... inspiring discussions about social technology, network effects and its impact on society #motivating #inspiring Read Felix Haas's tweets.

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1027: Andy Freire tweets #davos "The real issue is the gigantic elephant under the table which is the US deficit that shows no sign of being fixed" Read Andy Freire's tweets.

1024: "The West will have to depend more on countries like India and China to become globally competitive," says Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, one of India's richest women.

1021: The morning's second panel debate is under way: "The West Isn't Working". Panellists include Arianna Huffington from the Huffington Post and Indian businesswoman Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, founder of Biocon.

Tanya Beckett
1015: The BBC's Tanya Beckett tweets: Davos is proving to be somewhat intellectually challenging this year - am I up to the task? Read Tanya Beckett's tweets.

1008: Robert Scoble has been tweeting shots from the scene: Check out his snap of the main hall - 360 view.

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0956: Jeff Jarvis tweets: #Davos11 fun fact: China Mobile & Facebook each have 600 million users - and they're not the same. #wef Read Jeff Jarvis's tweets.

0954: Delegates have been digesting details of last night's State of the Union address along with their power breakfasts. "There was a lot of positive movement around competitiveness, focusing on taxes, focusing on trade, focusing on the tone of the discussion and I think there is a real focus on austerity," Ernst and Young chief executive Jim Turley told Reuters. John Studzinski, from private equity giant Blackstone said: "Innovation is very important. We have to look at American workers."

Tim Weber
0949: The BBC's Tim Weber tweets: The blue-ish lighting in the Studio workspace at #davos is jet-lag inducing. I feel as if it's past midnight, not 10:40 am. Read tim_weber's tweets.

Skier in Davos, file pic
If the financial gymnastics in the Davos meeting rooms are too much, there's always the opportunity for a spot of physical exercise as well

0944 World leaders are also answering questions via the official Davos Youtube channel. Questions posed so far include "how can we raise educational standards to ensure quality access to all?" and "why is there so much emphasis and money spent on space exploration, when so many people in the world are suffering from water and food deprivation?"

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0937: Nouriel Roubini tweets:It is not a G7 world; it is not a G20 world; it is a G0 world without global leadership and international cooperation Read Nouriel Roubini's tweets.

0934: After yesterday's announcement of disappointing end-of-year figures from the UK, more news of difficult times at the end of last year, this time from manufacturing powerhouse South Korea. Its economy grew by 0.5% in the last quarter of 2010, down from 0.7% in the previous quarter. But over the year as a whole it grew by 6.1% - the fastest for 8 years. Another sign of that much-discussed two-tier global economy, perhaps.

Tanya Beckett
0930: The BBC's Tanya Beckett in Davos says: "I'm really looking forward to interviewing Oleg Deripaska later today - a Russian oligarch in the flesh!"

0927: This is the 41st annual WEF meeting, although its name is more recent. The event started life as the European Management Symposium, the brainchild of a German professor of management studies, Klaus Schwab. Devised as an opportunity for chief executives to get together and swap tips for running a company and ideas about the state of the economy, it has evolved into one of the world's top networking events.

Dmitry Medvedev
0920: The opening day at Davos will be dominated by Russia, with Dmitry Medvedev the country's first president to take part in the event. He has curtailed his visit because of this week's Moscow airport attack, but he'll give the opening address later.

0917: It is not just the UK where the recovery is uncertain - there is a lot of nervousness around. But Sir Martin was sounding confident things would - or should - get better this year. "If you pump $12 trillion into the world economy, there has to be a rebound. That's what happened in 2010."

0914: Sir Martin Sorrell, boss of advertising giant WPP, has the last word of the opening debate on What is the New Economic Reality? He says 2010 was about bouncing back, thanks to government stimulus measures. He adds that 2011 will be "more balanced and more back to where we were".

0909: Here is a list of social media websites and Twitter accounts you can follow to get the latest information - and some of the behind-the-scenes events, from the WEF. Davos: A social media guide.

0905: The boss of the global economic body, the OECD, had a message for the UK government. Figures released on Tuesday showed its economy had shrunk, prompting a debate about whether the government should ease up on its austerity measures. But OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria was clear: The government should "stay the course" with its deficit cutting plans, he told the BBC. "The (government's) package was an ambitious, far-reaching package. It's what was necessary."

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0902: Carol Realini tweets: Second time in 24 hours am listening to a discussion on augmented reality #wef #davos Read Carol Realini's tweets.

0900: "I have a feeling that inequality is going to be one of the key words at Davos this year," says Michael Elliott, editor of Time International, who is chairing the opening session.

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0855: Bill Gross tweets: China Mobile CEO believes that soon, EVERYONE in the world will have at LEAST 1 mobile phone. Mobile phone changes people's life. #Davos Read Bill Gross's tweets.

Tim Weber
0853: The BBC's Tim Weber tweets: Wipro's Azim Premji: Asian economies really fed up being needled by West about opening up their economies, but not for two-way traffic #wef Read tim_weber's tweets.

0851: The real stars of the Swiss show, however, are politicians and business leaders such as Bill Gates, Google's Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt, Bill Clinton, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and UK Prime Minister David Cameron. The event is invitation-only, and companies who send their top brass to the Swiss mountains have to pay a chunky fee.

0849: Bad news for celeb spotters: Latest reports suggest Robert De Niro will not be attending the forum, while media mogul Rupert Murdoch has also pulled out. There will be some stardust sprinkled across the alpine snow, though: Davos regulars Bono, Peter Gabriel and Paulo Coelho will be on site, as well as a celebrity newcomer for this year - opera singer Jose Carrera.

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0844: Arianna Huffington tweets: about to take part in debate on CNBC on global unemployment with Maria Bartiromo... #Davos #WEF Read Arianna Huffington's tweets.

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0840: Susan Kang Nam tweets: Time Magazine Editor Elliott (sp)? making funny comments (nice to hear rest laugh in midst of this serious talk on economy) :) #Davos Read Susan Kang Nam's tweets.

0837: Speaking at the opening session, Ernst & Young's James Turley says he fears global co-operation is going to get harder not easier, and trade protectionism could creep in.

0835: Nouriel Roubini, economics professor from New York University's Stern School of Business, speaking at the forum's opening session (entitled What is the New Economic Reality?): "The mood in the market is slightly better but the fundamental problems are still unsolved in the eurozone."

0832: The WEF is a great place to talk and exchange ideas. The five-day conference is packed with 239 sessions, ranging from serious geopolitics and business issues to cutting edge science and more whimsical topics, such as a lesson on Shakespearean leadership. But the summit is better known for its networking. Put 2,500 business leaders, top politicians and clever academics in one place and let the schmoozing begin....

Tanya Beckett
0825: This year's meeting will cover diverse issues from the emerging strength of China, heightened concerns about Europe's debt crisis and the austerity measures being taken around the world in the aftermath of the global economic crisis. The BBC's Tanya Beckett in Davos says one key to success in this week's talks will be a new global spirit of engagement. The theme of the meeting is: "Shared norms for a new reality".

Tim Weber
0815: The BBC's Tim Weber tweets: Busy Davos morning, talking about trust in biz, govt, media, NGOs: it's hard to get, easy to lose, doubly hard to regain #davos. Read tim_weber's tweets.

0805: Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of the opening day of the 2011 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, tweets (hashtag: #bbcdavos), 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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