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Global tensions high ahead of Davos summit, warns World Economic Forum

Organizers of next week's annual gathering of business and political leaders in the Swiss ski resort of Davos say worsening international relations are hindering efforts to resolve global challenges.

Business and political leaders will meet in Switzerland next week amid escalating U.S.-China tensions

Exterior view of the of the snow-covered Steigenberger Grandhotel Belvedere in Davos, Switzerland, Tuesday. Ahead of a summit here of business and political leaders Jan. 22 to Jan. 25, a World Economic Forum report says that global tensions stand to make 2019 a difficult year for international co-operation. (Gian Ehrenzeller/Associated Press)

Organizers of next week's annual gathering of business and political leaders in the Swiss ski resort of Davos say worsening international relations are hindering efforts to resolve global challenges.

In its annual Global Risks Report, the World Economic Forum said Wednesday that a "darkening" economic outlook, in part fostered by geopolitical tensions between the United States and China, "looks set to further reduce the potential for international co-operation in 2019."

The report, which is based on the views of around 1,000 experts and decision-makers from around the world, also found that 88 per cent of respondents expect a "further erosion" of global trading rules and agreements.

The trade spat between the U.S. and China is set to be a key point of discussion in Davos this year.