By Bahattin Gonultas
A top official of the World Economic Forum, also known as Davos, has said Turkey has a significant role in the new era.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Martina Larkin, member of the executive committee of Davos, said: “First, it is an important international actor and has strong influence in the region. This is not only because it is a fast-growing G-20 economy but also due to its strong cultural, historical and political roots as well as its unique position -- just like that of the Bosphorus bridge -- connecting the West to the East and vice versa.
“Turkey can play an instrumental role in driving diplomatic efforts to addressing many global issues, including humanitarian issues and it can be an important stakeholder for finding agile and proactive solutions to avoid further humanitarian crises in this new term.”
She added that Turkey has an important role to play in diplomacy.
“Turkey can play an instrumental role in driving diplomatic efforts to addressing many global issues, including humanitarian issues and it can be an important stakeholder for finding agile and proactive solutions to avoid further humanitarian crises in this new term."
Larkin expressed high hopes from Davos this year.
"This year we will be hosting over 3,000 leaders and I am very optimistic about the outcomes. There is no other platform in the world that attracts so many and such a diverse array of leaders, offering them a unique platform to discuss the most pressing issues in the world and jointly find solutions and ways to address them.”
This year's theme is “Globalization 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution”.
Explaining the choice for the theme, she said: “We believe we are in the onset of the fourth industrial revolution that will change our lives dramatically and leaders of the world need to address the key challenges that are related to this transformation.
“New technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, internet of things, biotech and so on are changing the way we produce and consume. These technologies are changing productivity and competitiveness. Emerging Markets have an opportunity to be on the forefront if they can adapt to this transformation.”
She pointed out the challenges Europe is facing.
“Europe is facing serious challenges from within and outside its borders. The young generations in Europe have a very different view on what they expect from their nations and Europe as a whole.
"Over decades, the European Union has been a driver of peace and stability. Today, we face a crisis of trust and values which could unite Europeans. We are observing decreased interest among the youth in EU institutions and democracy, which is worrisome.
"This is driven by increasing inequality in societies. Populist voices benefit from this rise in some EU countries, this is another point that we all need to address."
She complained about the policy of protectionism adopted by some countries to protect domestic industries by taxing imports.
“There is a strong link between growth in global economic activity and global trade. Increased protectionism in the shape of waging trade wars is a big challenge as it threatens the future of the rules-based global system. Yet we still need to discuss how trade will look like in the Fourth Industrial Revolution given the tremendous changes in the form of digitalization and how we can ensure that those left behind in globalization can benefit from a new global architecture?”
Asked what advice she has for youth, Larkin said: “My advice for the young generation is to equip themselves well for the transformations that are ahead of us, which will change dramatically the way we relate to each other.”