- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 24, 2006

GENEVA — The growing economic clout of China and India will dominate the annual summit of the world’s business elite in the Swiss Alpine resort of Davos today.

Stewards of the world economy including bankers, corporate executives and a sprinkling of international leaders also will debate the political and economic role of Islam and Eastern Europe’s vulnerability in its dependence on Russian natural gas supplies.

World leaders attending Davos this year include German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, along with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

“We believe that there is no social evolution without economic evolution and that business enterprises also have a responsibility as citizens, ” said Andre Schneider, general director of the forum.

One of the top themes will be the emergence of China and India as true global powerhouses economically, politically and militarily.

Klaus Schwab founded the forum in 1971 as a foundation to discuss the century’s major challenges.

An estimated 2,300 participants have paid $12,000 each to attend lectures, seminars and roundtable discussions. Davos’ 80 hotels and guest houses charge prices varying from $1,000 a night to $600 a week for a place in a ski lodge.

Davos participants also pay $25,000 a year in dues.

• This article is based in part on wire-service reports.

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