Friday 26 January 2007
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Davos bites

Last Updated: 2:05pm GMT 26/01/2007

  • Daily Telegraph at Davos 2007
  • Students challenge Brown on education

    Chancellor Gordon Brown is among world leaders to be challenged by a group of students at the World Economic Forum in Davos to do more to raise the levels of education around the globe. The students, who come from countries including Egypt and South Korea, will seek support from Mr Brown for a global fund for education, which is backed by the British council. The British Council said in a statement: "We plan to use this opportunity to call for the creation of a Global Fund for Education, with a focus on quality education."

    Beijing wants to lift consumption

    China plans to increase its efforts to slow the growth in its currency reserves by trying to increase consumption by the Chinese. China's huge volume of exports has given the country a record amount of foreign-exchange reserves. Mr Wu Xiaoling, deputy governor of China's central bank, said at Davos: "The rapid development of foreign-exchange reserves and trade friction has made us realise that we must concentrate on the domestic market."

    Lula ready to compromise on trade

    Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is prepared to make some compromises needed to achieve a global trade agreement. Trade ministers from around the world are meeting to try to reignite talks that collapsed six months ago. Mr Da Silva said: "Brazil will play its part and make the necessary concessions so rich countries make their concessions."

    Trade talks: Progress 'unlikely'

    France's trade minister says there is unlikely to be much progress made on world trade talks at Davos because not all the necessary parties are at the World Economic Forum. Christine Lagarde said: "Not everyone is around the table. There is a lot of consultation to be had. It would be wrong and very unfair to the other parties."

    Call for Iraq round table

    Iraq's Vice-President has called for a regional round table of states in the Middle East to discuss the country's future. Adil Abd al-Mahdi called for a round table to include Iran and Syria. Mr Madhi said: "One of the factors of not having stability in Iraq is the regional environment. And Iraq is paying for that."

    Bank looks to US for growth

    Barclays' investment-banking business plans to grow between 15pc and 20pc in the next few years, with much of it coming in the US. Bob Diamond, who runs Barclays Capital, said at Davos that for "us to achieve our ambitions we have to continue to build our position in the US." The business, which is headquartered in Canary Wharf, made more than £1bn of pre-tax profit in the first half of last year.

    Emerging markets key for Pepsi

    Pepsi is targeting sales in emerging markets this year, including Russia and China. Michael White, who runs PepsiCo's international business, said that emerging markets have been a key part of the company's growth. Mr White said that the company will also introduce new drinks with fewer calories.

    'No sweat' shoe founder to keep control

    The owner of Italy's "no sweat" shoe company Geox says he has no intention of giving up control of the business he founded, despite pressure from investors to do so. Mario Moretti Polegato said at Davos: "Right now my decision is not to. The company is my life, my passion. It's like my son."

    US economy may not get soft landing

    The US economy may not get the soft landing that some are hoping for, Nouriel Roubini, professor at New York University, warned a panel at Davos today. "In the case of the US, Goldilocks is being threatened by three ugly bears," he said. Mr Roubini pointed to the state of the US housing market, the possibility of a credit crunch and high oil prices as the biggest risks. "I worry about a US hard landing," he said.

    2007 will be good for private equity

    David Rubenstein, founder of the private equity firm Carlyle Group, told delegates at Davos he expects the private equity industry to have a great 2007. Mr Rubenstein expects the flow of deals to be particularly strong in India and China, while the volume of deals will be stronger in the US than in Europe.

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