Zuma wraps up WEF summit

Friday, January 29, 2010

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma is expected to leave Switzerland today after concluding his five-day stay in Davos where he was attending the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting.

Leading Team SA, Zuma used the opportunity to assure the international community of the country's readiness to host the world between June and July for the FIFA World Cup as well as market the country as a potential destination for business, trade and tourism.

Issues of security around the World Cup had been raised by the international media, however, Zuma allayed their fears saying the country had vigorous and effective crime prevention strategies.

President Zuma said the World Cup offered an opportunity for the world to see and experience Africa in a different way.

"It is an opportunity to tackle stereotypes and preconceptions, and explore new frontiers of interaction and cooperation. It is an important milestone in the regeneration of the continent."

During his stay, Zuma also participated in a special plenary session entitled 'A Conversation on South Africa', which looked at the achievements and challenges of South Africa 20 years after the release of Nelson Mandela.

Zuma told the world's movers and shakers that the country had built a resilient economy which was now beginning to show signs of recovery following the global economic crisis.

He said growth in the South African economy required a mixture of public and private investment. The challenge was to find the right balance between state intervention and market-driven economic activity. The two should reinforce each other, he said.

Zuma also joined leaders from Mexico, Canada, Korea, Vietnam and Spain in a plenary discussion on 'Global Governance Redesigned'.

President Zuma said a major problem with global decision-making was that poor countries did not have a say in important decisions that affected their lives.

He called for an overhaul of multilateral institutions like the UN Security Council, World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

He also held a number of bilateral meetings with Soros Foundation Chairman George Soros, former US President Bill Clinton, UK Conservative Party leader David Cameron, Swiss Confederation President Doris Leuthard, the Duke of York HRH Prince Andrew, Spanish Prime Minister Jos, Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, and former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan among others.

Zuma will leave Davos to attend the 14th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU), which will be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia under the theme, "Information and Communication Technologies in Africa: Challenges and Prospects for the Future".

He is scheduled to return to South Africa on Tuesday.

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