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The founder of the World Economic Forum shares what he sees as the biggest threat to the global economy

The founder of the World Economic Forum shares what he sees as the biggest threat to the global economy

  • Economist Klaus Schwab is the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum which will be holding it’s Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland January 22-25, 2019.
  • Schwab explains the theme of this year’s meeting, “Globalization 4.0: Shaping a New Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
  • When asked if we were currently in a trend of deglobalization he said no, “we have to make a differentiation between globalization, which is a fact, and globalism.”
  • He says the biggest threat to economic stability is the imbalances in the world.
  • Schwab says he believes trade imbalances are a problem. He is not an unconditional advocate for free trade, which he says is great but only if there is equality.

Sara Silverstein: This year’s theme for 2019 for the meeting is Globalization 4.0 and shaping the architecture of the Next Wave of Globalization which is the industrial revolution, the fourth industrial revolution, which you’ve literally wrote a book on. Can you tell me what makes up the fourth industrial revolution?

Klaus Schwab: We are living in a time of multiple technological innovations. I just mentioned artificial intelligence, blockchain, you could add and add, and all those technologies together will fundamentally transform the world, not just business models but economies, society, politics and so on. So when we speak about globalization 4.0, we want to address the global architecture which is needed in this new context of the fourth industrial revolution.

Silverstein: And what was the issue with the last wave of globalization?

Schwab: We see it already now so so many issues like inequality, trade wars, and I could go on and on. The danger is that we deal with those issues, we address those issues with patchwork policies.

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