WEF Condemns Use of ‘Davos’ Label One Day Before Saudi Summit

(Bloomberg) -- The World Economic Forum decried the “illicit appropriation” of the Davos label for unaffiliated events, stressing it did not organize conferences for third parties.

The WEF hosts its own famous gathering each January, attracting heads of state such as Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, along with Hollywood celebrities and corporate executives. Held in the Swiss mountain resort of Davos, the town’s name is often used as shorthand for the conference.

The forum’s objection to others adopting the label comes just before Tuesday’s kickoff of Saudi Arabia’s investment summit in Riyadh, dubbed “Davos in the desert.”

That event has had a shadow cast over it in the wake of the death of Saudi government critic Jamal Khashoggi inside the nation’s consulate in Istanbul.

Top executives, including JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Jamie Dimon, Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser and Credit Suisse’s Tidjane Thiam have already backed out of the conference.

“The Forum, together with the City of Davos, will use all means to protect the Davos brand against illicit appropriation,” the WEF said Monday, adding that any other use of the word Davos might confuse the public. “The Forum also draws attention to its policy not to organize conferences on behalf of a specific government, always preserving its independence and impartiality.”

A WEF spokeswoman declined to comment further.

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