World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab welcomes the guests at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jan 16, 2023. (MARKUS SCHREIBER / AP)

DAVOS, Switzerland – Global cooperation should be accelerated as the world economy slows down sharply, said attendees at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting kicking off Monday in Davos, Switzerland.

The meeting, themed "Cooperation in a Fragmented World," is being held at a time when various challenges threaten world economic recovery, such as the energy crisis, the food crisis, high inflation, interruption of industrial chains, and retreat from globalization, said officials and scholars gathering at the event.

The manifold political, economic, and social forces are creating increased fragmentation on a global and national level, said Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the WEF, ahead of the annual meeting.

One of the root causes of the fragmentation is actually "a lack of cooperation," which in turn "increases fragmentation in society and leads even more to short-term and self-serving policymaking," said Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the WEF

One of the root causes of the fragmentation is actually "a lack of cooperation," which in turn "increases fragmentation in society and leads even more to short-term and self-serving policymaking," said Schwab.

Leslie Maasdorp, vice-president and chief financial officer of BRICS New Development Bank, told Xinhua that it is very important to strengthen globalization and global cooperation, and all countries need to work together to deal with the challenges the global economy is facing.

"We have realized the importance of strengthening multilateral cooperation," without which "you cannot really deal with challenges that are cross borders," he said.

"The world needs global trade," Bob Moritz, global chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), told Xinhua.

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"The world is dealing with problems that are not country specific and bounded by geographic borders … We have to rewire the world thinking about how to solve our problems. We have to get all the players at the table," he said.

Latest survey reports have pictured a bleak outlook for the global economy this year.

Although there are some grounds for optimism, such as easing inflationary pressure, many aspects of the global economic outlook remain gloomy, according to the WEF's survey "Chief Economists Outlook" released on Monday.

Policy-makers continue to confront an array of difficult trade-offs, while households and businesses will need to adapt to persistent headwinds through 2023, the report said.

Two-thirds of chief economists from private and public sectors expect a global recession in 2023, more than twice as many as in the previous survey in September 2022. However, views are divergent, with a third of respondents considering a global recession to be unlikely this year, it said.

A new PwC survey launched at the WEF on Monday showed that an overwhelming majority (73 percent) of chief executive officers surveyed expect global economic growth to decline over the next 12 months.

The "PwC Global CEO Survey" also revealed that 40 percent of the CEOs saw inflation as the top global threat, while 31 percent chose macroeconomic volatility, and 25 percent chose geopolitical conflict.

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The World Bank Group said in its latest Global Economic Prospects that global economic growth is projected to slow to 1.7 percent in 2023, 1.3 percentage points below the forecast made in June last year, marking its third-weakest pace in nearly three decades.

Global growth has slowed down "to the extent that the global economy is perilously close to falling into recession," the survey showed.

"The crisis facing development is intensifying as the global growth outlook deteriorates," said World Bank Group President David Malpass in the report.