French & German leaders set out their economic visions at Davos forum

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin

Macron, who began his special address in French but quickly moved to English, said he has come here with a call for action since France has also been affected by the structural changes and its relationship with globalisation.

Mr Trump, the first president to attend Davos since Bill Clinton in 2000, for his part, is to meet with a string of world leaders over the course of his visit and host a small dinner for European business executives on Thursday night.

French President Emmanuel Macron said Wednesday that he would not recognize Palestine as an independent state as a reaction to US President Donald Trump's declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Top US officials said his trip was meant to defend US interests while also promoting global partnerships. Mr Trump is due to speak to the conference on Friday to promote his "America first" policies which have seen the United States pull out of global treaties on trade and the environment.

"Unless we are able to cooperate, we will not be able to take advantage of our comparative advantages". Numerous bosses were in Davos, too.

In her speech to the forum earlier in the day, German chancellor Angela Merkel made only passing mention of climate change, describing it as "a great danger".

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"I think Macron and Merkel really stole the show in a way, and that's where Davos is oriented", Robert Kaplan, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, a Washington think tank, told AFP.

Several other European leaders also speaking yesterday, at the start of a potentially turbulent year for the continent.

As delegates wondered what the abrasive U.S. leader will say in his speech on Friday to the liberal Davos jet-set whom he ridiculed during his election campaign, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin moved to smooth the way for his arrival.

"If we want to avoid this fragmentation of the world, we need a stronger Europe".

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