Governments stuck in ‘crisis’ mode, says WEF’s Klaus Schwab

WEF chief states that few countries have a “long-term vision” for the future

Ben Flanagan
Ben Flanagan - Al Arabiya News, Abu Dhabi
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Governments across the world are too preoccupied with crisis management to consider how society should look in the future, the head of the World Economic Forum (WEF) said today.

Klaus Schwab told a WEF meeting in Abu Dhabi that few countries had a “long-term vision” for the future – adding that it was an aim of the forum to help develop such a framework.

“We lost the vision for our world… Governments and international institutions are much too much absorbed in crisis-management mode,” Schwab said.

“The biggest challenge we really have today is the incapability of the system of global governments to take the necessary time and to devote the necessary attention to construct the future.

“Which countries still have a true long-term vision? It’s our task to be visionary again. You have to be open and collaborative; you have to be inclusive and diverse.”

About 1,000 opinion-leaders descended on the UAE capital for the World Economic Forum’s Summit on the Global Agenda in Abu Dhabi, which started today.

Issues on the agenda include unemployment, the Arab Spring and the crisis in the Philippines.

Sultan Saeed Nasser al-Mansouri, the UAE’s minister of economy, said that the purpose of the WEF event was to “open new horizons… between countries, peoples and cultures”.

Al-Mansouri spoke about the UAE economy and its diversification away from its reliance on oil. He said that the ‘knowledge economy’, which is distinct from the oil and manufacturing sectors, would contribute to an increasing proportion of the country’s economy.

He said that he was “optimistic” that the knowledge economy would constitute up to 10 percent of the UAE GDP by 2020, double the proportion set out in previous targets.

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