Capitalism has taken more people out of poverty than any other political philosophy – Bono at Davos 2019

Capitalism has taken more people out of poverty than any other political philosophy, Bono has told the World Economic Forum.

The U2 singer said “unlocking” private sector funds can help achieve amazing things in developing countries.

“Capitalism is not immoral, it’s amoral,” Bono said.

“It has taken more people out of poverty than any other ‘ism’ but it is a wild beast and if not tamed it can chew up a  lot of people along the way”

He said that in some countries people who had their lives chewed up are pushing politics towards populism.

“We have to have some humility about what we can achieve in  the private sector but if we can unlock it it’s amazing what you can pull off.”

He added that young activists were driving change in business, and were loyal to ideas rather than brands.

“Even great businesses can go extinct, like a species, if they don’t adapt and evolve.”

Speaking at Davos 2019, one senior Chinese official said democracy is not working well in the West and western countries need political reforms.

Fang Xinghai, vice-chair of China’s Securities Regulatory Commission, said the West “cannot just turn your attention to other countries and try to paper over the difficulties you are experiencing.”

He said the rise of China is a factor in the geopolitical turmoil that has arisen, but that the most important factor is that the West is facing “tremendous difficulties”.

“Democracy as you described is not working very well and you have to realise that. You need political reforms in your countries. I say that in all sincerity,” Mr Fang said.

He said he doesn’t know why some American policy thinkers see China as a strategic rival.

“Is China a dangerous country? I think not. We are just there to modernise ourselves.”

Mr Fang said that if US President Donald Trump wants to create jobs that add lots of value to products  in the US, he needs an export market and China is the economy that can take these exports.

“The road to create high value added jobs in the US passes through Beijing.”

Meanwhile, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is preparing to debate Brexit with UK Chancellor Philip Hammond at the World Economic Forum in Davos tomorrow.

Mr Varadkar will take part in a panel discussion alongside Mr Hammond and a number of other European leaders, focusing on the continent’s future.

Mr Varadkar and Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe are travelling to Switzerland this afternoon. Mr Donohoe is due to take part in a panel discussion on international tax, alongside OECD secretary general Angel Gurria.

Mr Varadkar is also due to hold bilateral meetings with political leaders and the heads of companies with big operations in Ireland.

Both he and Mr Donohoe will also attend the IDA’s annual dinner for executives of big international companies, part of the agency’s efforts to win foreign direct investment.

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