Davos prepares for elite gathering
Political, corporate leaders in 5-day economic summit
Security staff gather at the forum venue in Davos.
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(CNN) -- More than 2,300 business and and political leaders are heading for the annual World Economic Forum, which opens in the Swiss alpine resort of Davos on Wednesday and concludes on Sunday.
Germany's new Chancellor, Angela Merkel, will be one of 15 international leaders at the conference, which takes the overall theme this year of "the creative imperative."
Other world figures at Davos include Pakistan's President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai and Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz also will attend.
Along with high-profile business figures such as Bill Gates, Craig Barrett of Intel, Michael Dell, Richard Branson and Renault's Carlos Ghosn, attendees include Irish rock star Bono and Angelina Jolie, the U.N.'s refugee ambassador.
Under the "creative imperative" theme, key topics at Davos this year include the rise of China and India, creating jobs, the impact of technology, the changing economic landscape, new mindsets and attitudes, and global freedom and democracy.
A major discussion will focus on measures to redress balance in the global economy.
"U.S. budget and current account deficits are very important contributors to an unbalanced global economy, while the U.S. deficit has been a source of demand that has propelled the global economy forward for some years now," said Lawrence Summers, President of Harvard University and co-chairman of the 2006 forum meeting.
"There is the ever present risk that these balances will not prove sustainable," he said.
As many as 30 trade ministers will meet at Davos on Friday and Saturday to gauge the degree of political will that exists for global reform of farm trade.
This follows the World Trade Organization ministerial meeting in Hong Kong last month, where the goals of the Doha round of trade reform remained elusive.
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