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Who's here at Davos 2006

Davos is still largely a "Western" event, with the large majority of participants coming from the U.S. and Europe. Among CEOs, there are alarmingly few from Africa, the Middle East and China or even Japan. There are more than before from India, and perhaps a few more from Latin America. But Davos does not look or feel like a truly global forum.

Bill Gates says pharmaceutical companies are failing the poor

Bill Gates says that Pharmaceutical companies are failing poor countries

'The amount of deaths from these diseases in the rich world is small, so there is no market to do it (develop vaccines),' Gates said during a discussion on forgotten illnesses.

'Millions of people die because of pneumonia and diarrhoea, but nothing has happened because they're killing people in poor countries,' he continued.

Pneumonia kills four million annually, more then the HIV/AIDS death rate, while diarrhoea kills around 2 million, mainly children.

UK Finance Minister pushes on TB, Vaccines

According to The Times Gordon Brown, the UK Finance Minister, is pledged to making 2006 a year of delivery on the promises made in 2005.

Yesterday, Mr Brown announced that Britain will contribute £41.7 million to fight tuberculosis in India as part of a new multi-billion dollar fund to combat the disease worldwide.

Davos 2006 is surprisingly upbeat

Davos 2006 is surprisingly upbeat -- with much talk of the success of China and India. These are seen as classic cases of the benefits of markets, openness, competition and the entrepreneurship and creativity those business-friendly characteristics can generate. Much less present in the corridors and in sessions is the issue of risks at the global level--whether economic risk for some countries if the commodity boom and low interest rate regime ends--or risks to the global economy (and to the fight against poverty) of a backlash from those who feel left out of the process.

New incentives for vaccines needed

Seth Berkeley, President of IAVI, on incentives to produce vaccines

"The whole system for vaccines is not aligned properly," Berkley told Reuters. "We have to find better ways to accelerate research, to finance research and to create incentives for pharmaceutical companies."

He plans to lobby for such commitments in discussions with policymakers at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos this week.