DAVOS: Global movers and shakers flocked to hear US President Donald Trump speak on the final day of the week-long World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Friday. Here are 10 top quotes of the day:
First among equals?
“America First does not mean America alone. When the United States grows, so does the world.”
Trump woos Davos with an uncharacteristic gesture of openness.
Everyone for himself
“Just like we expect the leaders of other countries to protect their interests, as president of the United States, I will always protect the interests of our country, our companies and our workers.”
Trump returns to familiar ground.
Back in time
“If each country is narrowly pursuing its agenda, it will clash with the agendas of others, and we will take the world back to 1913 once again.”
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, in response to ‘America First’.
“As a businessman I was always treated really well by the press… it wasn’t until I became a politician that I realised how nasty, how mean, how vicious and how fake the press can be.”
After turning on the charm in his speech, Trump goes off-script in a question-and-answer session with forum chairperson Klaus Schwab.
Some audience members’ response to Trump’s attack on the media.
Come in peace
“It was positive in the sense that he didn’t declare any trade war, or any other wars… It was more consensual than many of us may have expected.”
European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen.
“It’s a middle-of-the-road, unexciting, rational speech. It was not at all what you expect from Donald Trump, who sometimes makes very wild statements.”
Singapore’s former UN ambassador Kishore Mahbubani.
Africans for Trump
“In private we love Trump. There is something in the way he does things, his disruptive nature, his aggressiveness, which is what business is all about. So quietly we want to be like him, while publicly that’s an embarrassment.”
Paul Okumu, Kenyan head of the African business and development group Africa Platform, after the US president this month reportedly used insulting language to describe African countries.
“President Trump’s boastful sales pitch was a victory lap for the trillions of tax cuts that the wealthy elites and corporations have clamoured for… The president who claims to be fighting for the forgotten men and women is really seeking the approval of the world’s elites.”
Oxfam Executive Director Winnie Byanyima.
End of days
“Davos is a good place to announce that their days are numbered.”
Billionaire investor George Soros warns tech giants such as Facebook and Google they must be regulated or die.