Davos: The 41st annual World Economic Forum meeting ended here on a cautious optimism with global leaders raising doubts about the world’s ability to combat effectively a possible financial crisis, even as they asked corporates not to sacrifice long-term growth for short-term profits.
“Can we safely say that we can prevent further crises from happening? Do we have the necessary mechanisms in place to ensure sustainable growth globally? We have laid down the groundwork, but we are not there yet,” these remarks by German Chancellor Angela Merkel reflected the mood at the conference.
About 2,500 global leaders, CEOs and others participants met at a time when the world has not fully recovered from the global financial meltdown of 2008 and sovereign debt crisis is looming large in several European countries.
The world’s largest economies, according to US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, need to collaborate in order to face known and unknown challenges. “They are not fundamentally in conflict, they are largely complementary. And we are confident that we are going to be able to build a system that serves their interest, and not just ours,” Geithner had stressed.
Not only from political leadership, the word of caution was also heard from business leadership with PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi asking businesses to think beyond making short-term profits.