The world is largely open to immigration and multilateral cooperation, according to a new opinion poll published by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
WEF, best known for hosting the annual economic forum in Davos, Switzerland, said a survey of more than 10,000 people from different parts of the world revealed that a clear majority believed that cooperation among nations was very important.
The WEF report, released with web-based research firm Qualtrics, also claimed the findings exposed and debunked a negative image of immigrants that have been pushed by media outlets around the world.
A global majority of respondents (57%) said they believed immigrants were “mostly good” for their adopted country although there were some strong regional variations.
The most welcoming regions to immigration were North America (66 %) and South Asia (72 %) of those asked stating that people coming to their country was “mostly good.”
However, only 40 percent of Eastern Europeans and 46 percent of those living in Western Europe held the same opinion.
When asked if their own country had a responsibility to help other countries, South Asia also came out on top with 94 percent agreeing with the statement.
The WEF report said the global average for that statement was 72 percent but North Americans, despite their openness to immigration, were the least likely to want to help other countries, with just 61 percent agreeing.
“The overwhelming desire of the global public is for leaders to find new ways to work together that will allow them to cooperate on these critical shared challenges we all face,” said founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab in a press release on Sunday.
A third question asked if upward mobility in society was elusive revealed a highly skeptical view of social progress. As few as one in five Europeans believe a poor person can become rich through hard work.
In the United States, the land of the American dream, respondents were marginally more positive with 34 percent believing that upward mobility is possible.
Another WEF report this week, called the Global Risks Report 2019, suggested that an increased risk of political confrontations between major powers will prevent business and governments from tackling pressing problems such as climate change or cyberattacks.
in this poll, WEF surveyed around 1,000 experts and decision-makers with 90 percent saying they expected further economic confrontation between major powers. Almost the same percentage said they expected further weakening of multilateral trading rules.