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HomeDiplomacyWhy Did ASEAN Leaders Skip Davos? – The Diplomat

Why Did ASEAN Leaders Skip Davos? – The Diplomat

Flags flutter outside the Congress Center in Davos, Switzerland during the World Economic Forum on January 15, 2020.

credit: Depositphotos

Indonesian Night is a popular ticket in Davos. This year’s bash sampled 700 local delicacies, including Medan fish from Sumatra and Taliwan chicken from Lombok. “As for the food… good luck tonight.” promised Luhut Pandjaitan, senior minister in Joko Widodo’s cabinet. There were rumors that Tony Blair was in the room.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) is bullish on Southeast Asia.One of the buzz acronyms Circulation At the conference there was a VIP market. Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines. But most of the leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have opted to skip the annual Global Elite Jamboree in Davos. Only his Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in the Philippines brought a sizeable contingent. Across Asia, there were only 3 of the 52 heads of state or government, so he looked unremarkable. attended.

This year’s Davos conference, which began on January 16, was also absent from many of the prominent figures who have attended in the past. In 2017, guests included then-Vice President Joe Biden, Xi Jinping, Theresa May, and Shakira. The President of China delivered a keynote speech. ASEAN was represented by Hun Sen from Cambodia and Nguyen Xuan Phuc from Vietnam. Regular customer in the Davos speaker circuit.But this year Hun Sen skipped During the event, and the WEF Annual Meeting, Phuc stepped down as chairman.

There is a sense among Asian attendees that the event is off the global agenda.Nikkei Asia Mention To the conference as a “Euro-centric gathering”.After last year’s conference, Malaysian columnist Karim Raslan said I have written, “How can it be a ‘world’ economic forum if the concerns of Asia contributing to 60% of global growth by 2030 are ignored?” is one of Some of her ASEAN countries argue that sanctions against Russia are counterproductive.Hun Sen Said Audiences at last year’s Davos meeting said, “The sanctions do not bring any benefits and should be stopped. Not only will poor countries suffer, but even the countries that impose them will be affected.”

Another reason for the absence of ASEAN leaders at Davos could be summit fatigue. In Southeast Asia he had three conferences in November, possibly surpassing Davos in star power. The guest list for his G-20 summit in Bali included Biden, Xi, and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.Biden too Dropped US Vice President Kamala Harris delivered a speech at the ASEAN Summit and related conferences held in Phnom Penh. APEC A conference in Bangkok attended by President Xi.

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WEF Founder and Chairman Klaus Schwab on the sidelines of the ASEAN meeting persuaded The president of the Philippines goes to Davos. Manila news media said Marcos was the only ASEAN leader to attend.rapper commented“Perhaps other ASEAN leaders understood the frivolity of the event or realized they could grow their economies robustly without quarreling with the Davos elite.”

The Davos ties have become “politically toxic” for world leaders in the post-COVID-19 era. “That star is fading a bit. If you look at who’s coming, there used to be some really serious big guys. This year, he’s the only G-7 leader.” Observed Zanny Minton Beddoes, Editor-in-Chief of The Economist. “But at the same time, I think it’s actually useful, and it’s especially useful in a world that’s… fragmented.”

Over ten years ago, Brookings essay Question: “Is there a Davos Man’s Days Count?” The popularity of Indonesia Nights might suggest otherwise. But for many civil servants, the Schmooze Fest at ski resorts in the Swiss Alps no longer has the same appeal.

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