English to attend World Economic Forum

Last updated 10:24 16/01/2014

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Finance Minister Bill English will attend the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland next week.
 
It is the first time he has gone to the annual meeting which attracts around 3,000 political, business and economic leaders from around the world.
 
"The Forum will provide me with an opportunity to better understand the global risks to New Zealand's positive economic outlook," English said.

''It will also provide me with a clearer understanding of how the people and markets we trade with are thinking about our common challenges.''

English said he was particularly interesting in discussions about ''returning to what many call 'natural growth''' as economies exit from large monetary and fiscal stimulus programmes.
 
He said the unwinding of stimulus programmes by large economies would have an effect on small, open economic like New Zealand.

He leaves for Switzerland on January 20 and returns on January 27.

The Davos forum's founder, Klaus Schwab, told reporters Wednesday at the organisation's lavish headquarters overlooking Lake Geneva that the event seeks to ''push the reset button'' on the world's crisis mode.

He expects there to be ''cautious optimism'' among the attendees, but also realistic expectations about what could be achieved. It will be hard, for example, to expect the global economy to return to the high growth rates it enjoyed before the 2008-09 financial crisis.

''Confidence seems to come slowly back,'' Schwab said of the world economy. ''It's like running with a heavy backpack on your shoulders.''

- with AP

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