GENEVA — Twitter-happy President Dmitry Medvedev is the headliner of this year's World Economic Forum in Davos next week, and he plans to use the social media to take questions over the Internet.
"We have over 1 million users on Twitter," Adrian Monck, the forum's managing director, told a news conference Wednesday. "And President Medvedev is an enthusiastic embracer of Twitter."
Medvedev will be joined at the exclusive annual gathering by other Group of 20 national leaders such as Mexican President Felipe Calderon, British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, as well as the forum's founder, Klaus Schwab. Other G20 leaders slated to attend are South African President Jacob Zuma, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy.
Forum officials said some of the hot topics of the talks at the Swiss ski resort — expected to be attended by more than 2,500 people this year — include rising food and fuel prices, clean water shortages and how to reduce corruption and improve nations' governance.
Ahead of the talks, the forum and McKinsey management consultants released a report that is sure to be talked about. It says another $103 trillion of credit will be needed over the next decade to sustain global economic growth. The theme for the Jan. 26-30 talks is "Shared Norms for the New Reality."
Schwab said one focus of the talks would be how to prevent the global financial crisis from spilling over into other facets of life.
"We haven't really digested all the consequences of the crisis we went through the past two to three years," Schwab said.
"We have to be careful this doesn't become a social crisis, which it has in some countries," he said, "and it doesn't become an intergenerational crisis, because there's a tendency to solve the problems on the backs of the next generation."
Among the other public figures who have confirmed they will visit are Ghanaian President John Mills, Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Amolo Odinga, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming.
Last year, Medvedev and then-California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger tweeted and raised the prospect of skiing together. Medvedev visited Silicon Valley and then sought help from the Schwarzenegger in creating Russia's own version of the high-tech hub.
On Schwarzenegger's last day in office, Medvedev sent him a message on Twitter wishing him success and saying, "There are many more interesting opportunities still to come." Schwarzenegger tweeted back, "I hope you're having a great new year and can't wait to see you again — maybe skiing?"
Last June, U.S. President Barack Obama said Twitter accounts might eliminate the need for dedicated phone lines between Russian and U.S. leaders. Obama said at a joint news conference with Medvedev at the White House that both of them use the popular social networking program.