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The World Economic Forum (WEF) kicked off on Monday in Davos, Switzerland, for the first time in two years and will see fewer participants than before.

The last time some of the most influential names in the financial industry met, the economy was buzzing, far from worries of a global pandemic and a war between Russia and Ukraine. This time around, however, the situation is very different.

Around 2,500 people are expected to attend Davos, down from 3,000 in January 2020, with a distinct number of A-lister names missing from attendance lists including the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of JPMorgan Chase, Jamie Dimon, who will instead be attending his company’s annual investor day presentation and US President Joe Biden who is currently on a trip to Japan and South Korea. China’s presence at the event was also highly cut back, influenced by the country’s strict lockdowns, meanwhile Russia’s presence is a scarce sight.

Day one of the forum saw panels hosted by Oxfam, the Amir of Qatar and billionaire businessman David Rubenstein.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky also joined the forum (virtually) asking the west to intensify its economic sanctions against Russia, this was possibly one of the most important talks of the event so far.

Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen are also scheduled to deliver speeches later this week.

Talks will also focus on a number of environmental and climate issues including eco-anxiety, net-zero goals and climate transition. Cryptocurrencies and the metaverse have also taken an important position at the forum.

WEF will be held until 26 May 2022.

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