DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) – The World Economic Forum (WEF) still expects U.S. President Donald Trump to attend its annual meeting in the Swiss Alps this week, the forum’s chairman Klaus Schwab said on Sunday.
Schwab made the comments in an interview with Reuters a day after White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said the trip was up in the air because of the federal government shutdown in the United States.
Trump is due to speak at the gathering of politicians, business chiefs and bankers on Friday, the final day of the four-day event.
Asked if he had any indication that Trump’s trip was in flux, Schwab said: “No, we haven‘t. Until now we hope that the trip will be maintained … we’ll see what the final outcome is.”
Heavy snow in the Alps has made travel difficult in many regions given the heightened danger of avalanches.
The main road leading to Davos was covered with snow. The town’s website for avalanche information advised people in nearly 30 residences to seek more secure dwellings for Sunday evening.
Schwab said he wasn’t worried that weather would prevent attendees from coming to the event, which officially starts on Tuesday.
“No, I‘m happy because it provides Davos with what it should be — the aspect of a global village, but a village where you know nature plays still a very important role and, in our discussion, the whole environmental issue will also be at the forefront of what we do here,” he said.
Reporting by Alex Threlfall; Writing by Michael Shields; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall