China’s President makes Davos debut – Zuma drops out

Nice surprise when arriving in Davos today. The World Economic Forum moved quickly to elevate late entry SA Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa onto the centre stage. He was added at the last minute to half a dozen high profile discussion panels. As mentioned yesterday, this is Cyril’s opportunity to shine.

The WEF starts from an unusual position this year – its message of promoting global co-operation having fallen out of favour in the last 12 months. While the anti-globalisation leaders Putin and Trump are noticeable absentees, this year the WEF can boast an equally significant drawcard in China’s President Xi – the first time the world’s most populace leader has attended.

Given Xi’s participation, the late withdrawal of his supposedly close Brics ally Zuma takes on new significance. Could it signal the isolated SA President has dropped China for Russia?