The Latest: VR film in Davos highlights cyber risks


The Latest: VR film in Davos highlights cyber risks

The Associated Press
Swiss Federal President Alain Berset, right, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, shake hands prior to a meeting one day before the start of the 48th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, WEF, in Davos, Switzerland, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. The meeting brings together enterpreneurs, scientists, chief executive and political leaders in Davos January 23 to 26. (Peter Klaunzer/Keystone via AP)

The Latest on the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland (all times local):

5:00 p.m.

The World Economic Forum can be a fairly sober event. But on the sidelines it's packed with interactive exhibits showcasing a particular trend or problem.

One exhibit this year is a 12-minute excerpt of a virtual reality production, Zero Days VR, produced by studio Scatter and based on a 2016 Alex Gibney documentary, Zero Days.

It's about cyberwarfare, specifically about a computer virus called Stuxnet suspected to have been made by the U.S. and Israel to destroy Iranian centrifuges. Delegates are taken on a ride showing the discovery of the virus, how it works and moves through a computer network and ultimately how it affects the centrifuges.

Director Yasmin Elayat says the WEF found out about the VR film last year from the Sundance Film Festival, where it premiered, and think the film can highlight the stakes in cybersecurity in "an innovative way."

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has walked past a couple of occasions. Elayat said she would really "love for him to come see it."


3:30 p.m.

While some Davos notables had words of praise about Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech, Christine Lagarde was more curt: "I would have loved to hear a bit more about girls."

The harrumphing quip from the IMF managing director testified to sensitivity on gender inequality that World Economic Forum organizers have been trying to address: Lagarde is one of seven on a new all-woman cast of co-chairs of the Davos meeting this year.

This year's Davos forum has the event's highest-ever proportion of women participants, though they still only make up a bit more than one in five attendees.

Another of those co-chairs, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, praised Modi for criticizing protectionism and calling for respect of the rule of law.

And former U.S. Vice President Al Gore gushed: "Prime Minister Modi made climate change the No. 1 priority. On that, I thought he did extremely well."


2:25 p.m.

A leading British investment manager says that a catastrophic IT crash that puts markets out of action for several days could be the catalyst to another financial crisis.

Anna Richards, chief executive of London-based M&G Investments, says the next financial crisis is unlikely to emerge from a geopolitical event, as markets are used to dealing with such events on a regular basis.

More worrying for Richards are the technological innovations that have fundamentally altered the way markets operate and that investors are "somewhat blind to."

She told the World Economic Forum: "We all have businesses which are absolutely reliant on a very small number of people who provide the pipes that effectively we all put our business though."

How markets react if no one could trade for "one, two or three days" would be "kind of interesting," she added.


1:50 p.m.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi says India's economy would more than double and touch $5 trillion by 2025.

Modi made the comments in his keynote speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Speaking in Hindi, Modi added that when an Indian prime minister was in Davos last in 1997 India's GDP was a "little more than $400 billion and now two decades later it's about six times that amount."

He said that his government was committed to boosting economic growth and reducing bureaucratic hurdles to doing business in India. He said his government was committed to making the economy attractive for investment.


1:00 p.m.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi says his government is committed to working to save the environment and alleviating the impact of climate change.

Modi said Tuesday that his government had set itself the ambitious target of producing 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022. In the past three years India has been able to produce about 60GW of renewable energy.

He made the comments as he delivered the keynote address to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Modi added that the developed world needed to do more to help poorer nations combat the effects of climate change.

Modi said that while everyone talked about reducing carbon emissions, very few developed countries backed that up by helping developing nations like India with resources to adopt appropriate new technologies to that end.


12:10 p.m.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi says the recent wave of trade protectionism, in which governments raise barriers to free trade between nations, is "worrisome."

Modi delivered the warning in a speech Tuesday just hours after the U.S. government of President Donald Trump approved tariffs on imported solar-energy components and large washing machines in a bid to help U.S. manufacturers.

In a keynote address to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Modi said that "forces of protectionism are raising their heads against globalization." Without directly mentioning Trump or the U.S., he said "the solution to this worrisome situation against globalization is not isolation."

He quoted Mohandas Gandhi: "I don't want the windows of my house to be closed from all directions. I want the winds of cultures of all countries to enter my house with aplomb and go out also."


11:35 a.m.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is drawing a crowd in Davos.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, Presidents Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe, and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore have poured into a Davos ballroom to hear the Indian leader's keynote speech for the World Economic Forum this year.

Swiss President Alain Berset set up the stage for Modi, appealing to the hundreds of people in the crowd: "Let us make 2018 a year in which we overcome the phase of hand-wringing and self-criticism, in which each of us works to promote social inclusion."


11:15 a.m.

An expert on global financial crises is downplaying fears that the world is set for another downturn.

A decade on from the last crash, Professor Kenneth Rogoff from Harvard University says there is "no plan A" to deal with another crisis given that interest rates remain at super-low levels and public finances remain stretched.

However, Rogoff told an audience at the World Economic Forum that financial crises have a "long afterlife" and that "we're actually at the tail-end of the last one."

Fears have risen recently that the global economy may be heading for another downturn, with many worried about the scale of gains in global stock markets and even the huge volatility in trading of virtual currencies like Bitcoin.

Still, he said China is the country that's exhibiting many of the characteristics of a "typical financial crisis building up."


10:35 a.m.

A German business leader is warning U.S. President Donald Trump that his decision to slap tariffs on imported solar panels and washing machines will backfire.

On Monday, Trump approved the tariffs in a bid to help domestic manufacturers.

However, Frank Appel, CEO of Deutsche Post DHL, told an audience at the World Economic Forum Tuesday that the move will hurt exactly those who Trump is ostensibly trying to help.

He said: "Even if the U.S. does more protectionism, consumers will buy from different places and who pays the bill? All the employees in the U.S. finally."

Tidjane Thiam, the CEO of Swiss bank Credit Suisse, said he remains bullish on global trade despite the tariffs decision.

He said: "We will need to see how it impacts global trade, how other trading blocs react to that, but I remain optimistic. I think we are in exceptionally favorable context."


9:55 a.m.

Stock markets around the world are flying high amid a synchronized global upturn but a leading U.S. investor is warning of a potential "reckoning."

Stephen Schwarzman, chairman and CEO of Blackstone, told an audience at the World Economic Forum that the markets have responded to a positive global economic growth story. It is, he said, a time of "enormous ebullience."

However, he said there are "lurking" geopolitical risks out there that could put the knock markets off track and there will come a time when some of these problems are "not contained."

U.S. stock markets have been in particularly strong, with the Dow Jones industrial average hitting a run of record highs on the back of confidence around the U.S. economy and President Donald Trump's big tax reform package.


6:00 a.m.

The World Economic Forum officially gets underway Tuesday with Indian leader Narendra Modi delivering the keynote speech.

Modi was meant to be the event's highlight until President Donald Trump decided to come as well. Trump is due to speak Friday, though the U.S. government shutdown has put his presence in doubt.

There will be much interest in Modi, who follows on from Chinese President Xi Jinping's address to the global elite at last year's event. Xi portrayed his country as a champion of free trade on the same week Trump was inaugurated president.

Modi will likely tout India's economic successes and stress that his country is also open for business.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is later due to address the Davos crowd, which is gathering in unusually heavy snowfall.

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