Travel Risks for World Economic Forum 2024

11th January 2024

The 54th World Economic Forum (WEF), colloquially named Davos after the location it is held in Switzerland, will take place between 15th and 19th January 2024. The theme of this year’s conference is “Rebuilding Trust.” The conference will bring together representatives from more than 100 national governments. In addition, 1,000+ international global corporations, civil society leaders, and experts in their fields will also be attending.

This year’s conference takes place as the world continues to face geopolitical challenges. This includes increasing China–US tensions, the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, and since October 2023, the ongoing Israel – Hamas war in Gaza.

Economic growth throughout 2023 has proved more resilient than many forecasted, despite rising interest rates and ongoing systemic shocks. However, growth is expected to slow down throughout 2024. Several major economies may tip into recession as a result of economic and political uncertainty.

  1. Rebuilding trust. The headline theme considers restoring global cooperation, reinforcing trust and transparency across the world and in societies.
  2. Security and cooperation in a fractured world. How can the world tackle multiple overlapping global security challenges, whilst preventing further fragmentation amongst nations and regions.
  3. Creating jobs and growth for a new era. How can governments, businesses and civil society work around a new economic framework to prevent a decade of low growth.
  4. Artificial intelligence as a driving force. How AI and other technologies such as 6G, quantum computing and biotech will affect the future economic order.
  5. A long-term strategy for climate, nature and energy. Measures to meet the objectives set out in COP28, while providing greater access to food, energy and water.

Attendees include Ajay S Banga, the President of the World Bank Group, Mohammad Abdulla Al Gergawi and the UAE’s Minister of Cabinet Affairs. The Chinese Premier Li Qiang, will be representing to show that Beijing remains open for international investment and business. US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan will also be in attendance.

The UK meanwhile will see two rival delegations. One from the current government, consisting of the Chancellor and Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt and David Cameron respectively. The opposition party, Labour, will send Rachel Reeves and Jonathan Reynold, the Shadow Chancellor and Business Secretary, respectively.

Global businesses will be well represented by Presidents and CEOs of multi-national financial institutes, global legal and accounting firms, and global industrial and consumer goods firms.

Switzerland is a low-risk country, however, the high-profile nature of the WEF conference and attendees will raise the risk profile for Davos during the conference.

The WEF has targeted by protest action groups in recent years. These groups have sought to generate attention for civil causes, including climate activism and economic inequality.

Attendees of the event should expect a well-policed operation with enhanced security measures. But, there still remains a considerable risk for politically motivated activity during the 2024 WEF annual meeting. 5000 Swiss Army personnel will be deployed across Davos, whilst airspace restrictions will be enforced from 12 January until 20 January.

The WEF has also been targeted by protest action groups in recent years. These groups have sought to generate attention for civil causes, including climate activism and economic inequality.

  • Potential travel risks at WEF 2024
  • Probability of civil unrest and protests
  • Chances of terrorist attacks during the conference
  • Security restrictions in Davos, Switzerland
  • Recommendations to mitigate risk while attending the conference
speakers at world economic forum 2024
Speakers at World Economic Forum

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