Posted: June 11th, 2012 | Author: Marian | Filed under: Asia-Pacific, Economics, International Business, International Relations, Politics, Thailand
Last week the highly regarded World Economic Forum on East Asia took place in Bangkok. By leaders like Yingluck Shinawatra, Thailand’s Prime Minister, and Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma’s democrat-icon and opposition leader, the event was classified as: “Very successful”. However a view on its history can be helpful to understand the WEF’s purpose as the Forum’s outcome cannot be measured in form of a contract or something else that is tangible and concrete.
The Forum was founded in 1971, by Klaus Schwab a German born professor in Davos, Switzerland and originally was named the “European Management Forum”. However its name was changed to the World Economic Forum in 1987 as a change of focus took place early on. In 1973 participants of the meeting discussed the collapse of the Bretton Woods fixed-exchange rate mechanism and the Arab-Israeli War. Thus the annual meeting clearly expanded its focus from management to economic and social issues. Next political leaders were invited for the first time to the annual meeting in 1974. As the years went by, political leaders began to use the annual meeting as a neutral platform to resolve their differences: The Davos Declaration was signed in 1988 by Greece and Turkey, helping them to turn back from the brink of war. In 1992, South African President F. W. de Klerk met with Nelson Mandela and Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi at the annual meeting, which marked their first joint appearance outside South Africa. At the 1994 annual meeting, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat reached a draft agreement on Gaza and Jericho. Over the years the single event in Davos spread over the world and now more regional events take place such as the World Economic Forum on East Asia. This year’s event was the 21st edition. Read the rest of this entry »