In January 2023 yours truly went to the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland. I participated in multiple sessions, met a lot of interesting and very impressive people, and had numerous conversations about the world and the US economy. Meeting businessmen and politicians on both political spectrums and getting their perspective on what is going on in the world, and in the US in particular, was invaluable.
Overall, the mood of the crowd was much brighter than just a few months ago. Participants noted that the inflation in the US and the world was subsiding, China surprisingly re-opened much quicker than previously believed, and Europe so far experienced a mild winter and saved some fossil fuels in reserves. The hope for the world, if not side-stepping but having a milder recession this year, was high.
What impressed me the most is the presence of cutting-edge tech firms and entrepreneurs. We, the citizens of the world, are in good hands and I believe productivity is going to increase in the US and around the world tremendously this decade, which will be crucial for the longevity of the US and global financial markets.
What is really important to understand is that the US is still looked upon as an example and the most advanced economy in the world. Stanford University had one of the biggest pavilions there and I had multiple productive discussions on how to keep the US leadership going forward with Paul Ryan and other forum participants.
Keeping the US safe and open to the world was the main discussion point with Stuart Eizenstat at Shabbat Dinner at Davos WEF. The US is still a place where entrepreneurs from all over the world dream of doing business.
Nevertheless, developing countries like India are aggressively bringing home-grown technologies not only to their domestic markets but to the developed markets as well. I spoke to Vijay Sharma, CEO of Paytm, and he told me that they could conquer some of the Japanese market with home-grown technology. As fierce as the competition is in India, if you survived there — you have all the chances of making it in the developed markets as well. That is nice to know when we assess the agility of Tech companies.
Restoring European safety and ensuring the continent is not sliding into a rough recession this year was a discussion point with Pawel Gruza, CEO of Bank Polska.
The bottom line is the world is a very dynamic place, where the US leadership is going to be challenged constantly and should not be taken for granted. Embracing new technologies, keeping the talent flow, and staying safe and easy to do business in are all very important elements of our nation’s success — let’s keep it this way!