DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- Government officials, experts and business elites from over 100 countries on Wednesday started heated discussions on the world's underlining issues at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) held in the Swiss snow-clad town of Davos.
The theme of this year's four-day meeting -- "The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business" -- exactly sets out the three dimensions of the world's current circumstances.
In the economic dimension, six years after the onset of the global financial crisis, the world economy now comes to a turning point.
The U.S. economy is speeding up recovery, and Europe is struggling out of recession. Emerging economies, which experienced a post-crisis slowdown in the past two years, are expected to improve amid more uncertainties.
In the political dimension, policy-makers are pondering how to build a mechanism for better governance and global cooperation, as national hostility, racial tension, regional conflicts as well as unilateralism and minilateralism promoted by some major countries continue to destabilize the world.
In the social dimension, social inequality calls for global reform and reshaping as the world sees a painful contrast between extravagance in developed countries and famine in poor ones, as well as a yawning development gap between the North and the South.
Alongside, new social problems brought about by urbanization, migration, aging, and lack of educational resources have emerged, while gender discrimination, income disparity and environmental deterioration are still taking their tolls.
In a welcome message on Tuesday night, Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of WEF, said he expected participants of the 2014 Davos forum, including over 1,500 business leaders and over 40 heads of state or government, to bring brain, soul, compassion and nerves to the event.
At a pre-event press conference earlier this month, Schwab used three phrases to summarize the characteristics of the global context -- cautious optimism, diminished expectations, and many known unknowns.
The confidence in the world's economic performance is slowly coming back, but many problems remain such as large fiscal deficits faced by certain countries, said Schwab.
He meanwhile predicted relatively slow growth in the coming period, maybe five to 10 years. But he cautioned that even if the world could get out of the crisis, the growth rate would not be restored to the pre-crisis level.
He also stressed the dominance of fundamental and underlining development issues such as employment for the human society, adding that this year's meeting will also focus on one single crisis and other hot issues.
"We forget that we should look for solutions for the really fundamental issues. We should look at our future in a much more constructive, (and) in a much more strategic way. That is what Davos is about," said Schwab.
At more than 250 sessions and workshops during the forum, participants are to exchange opinions on fundamental issues such as natural growth, global financial outlook, new energy, ocean economies, health and climate change.
All the issues are under four major topics -- embracing disruptive innovation, achieving inclusive growth, meeting society's new expectations and sustaining a world of 9 billion. Enditem
This article is part of Xinhua's integrated coverage on the 2014 World Economic Forum, "Eyes on Davos: A Chinese Perspective." For more stories, please visit: www.xinhuatone.com/zt/dws/en/sy/index.html