Milan — An array of crises will keep several world leaders away from the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos next week, which takes place against a backdrop of deepening gloom over the global economic and political outlook. Anxieties over trade disputes, fractious international relations, Brexit and a growth slowdown that some fear could tip the world economy into recession are set to dominate the January 22-25 Alpine meeting. The WEF’s own Global Risks Report set the tone this week with a stark warning of looming economic headwinds, in part because of geopolitical tensions among major powers. About 3,000 business, government and civil society figures are due to gather in the snow-blanketed ski resort, but among them are only three leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) most industrialised countries: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte. Donald Trump, who stole the Davos limelight in 2018 with a rare appearance by ...

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