Crisis discussed as businessmen confidence 'plummeted'

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Davos as World Economic Forum started in Davos.

Crisis discussed as businessmen confidence 'plummeted'

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Davos on Wednesday as world leaders and hundreds of top financial and corporate chiefs started talks at the annual Davos forum.

The annual meetings of World Economic Forum (WEF) started in at the Swiss mountain-top resort.

Speaking to reporters, Erdogan said that he would hold bilateral meetings and attend various panel discussions for two days.

The findings from a poll of more than 1,100 CEOs sets a grim backdrop to a four-day meeting of the world's business and political elite which opens on Wednesday in the Swiss ski resort, reported Reuters.

Hopes for a short "V"-shaped recession appear to have evaporated with most business leaders expecting no more than a slow and gradual recovery over the next three years.

"The three-year view is a bit better but the bad news is it is not that much better. Compared to the 21 percent confidence over the next 12 months, it's only 34 percent over three years," said Tony Poulter, global head of consulting at PwC.

PwC's Poulter said the situation had deteriorated significantly since September, following the collapse of Lehman Brothers and sale of Merrill Lynch.

Businessmen worried

Confidence among chief executives at more than 1,100 top companies around the world has "plummeted", according to a survey by consultants PricewaterhouseCooper released in Davos.

"The speed and intensity of the recession has rocked the psyches of CEOs and created a global crisis of confidence," commented PwC chief executive Samuel DiPiazza.

Back in September, only 46 percent of business leaders interviewed thought the banking crisis would affect them but by December that had risen to 67 percent.

Worryingly, even this gloomy picture -- with confidence the lowest in the survey's seven-year history -- may be over-optimistic, given the slew of further bad news since it was completed in early December.

More than 70,000 job cuts were announced on Monday this week alone, with Caterpillar Inc axing 20,000 after the heavy equipment said it had "pretty much hit a wall in December".

World leaders

Vladimir Putin, the Russian prime minister, and his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao were scheduled to give the opening speeches.

Upon a question, Erdogan said that he thought he might also hold a meeting with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, reported Anadolu agency.

Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai and Pakistan's Prime Minister Syed Raza Gillani were to appear together at a debate on the war in Afghanistan and the mounting strife in its neighbour, Pakistan.

Turkish State Minister & Chief Negotiator for EU talks Egemen Bagis and several parliamentarians are accompanying Erdogan.

South Africa's Finance Minister Trevor Manuel said developed nations appeared to be adopting a "lemming-like approach, trying to get to the precipice without knowing what their money would buy." He said there was a real risk wealthy nations would come out of the crisis with massive debts.

Agencies
Last Mod: 29 Ocak 2009, 13:42
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