Moscow/Davos: The annual World Economic Forum is set to open in the Swiss ski resort town of Davos on Wednesday.

Some 2,600 decision-makers from about 100 countries and hundreds of companies are expected to participate in the five-day event.

The theme of this year is: The great transformation: Shaping new models.

Participants include heads of state from about 40 countries, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano.

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde, World Bank chief Robert Zoellick and US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner are among key financial figures to attend.

They are expected to focus the discussions on the future of capitalism and set the global economic agenda for the next year.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is to give the opening speech.

The Russian delegation includes First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, Economics Minister Elvira Nabiullina, First Deputy chairman of the Central Bank Alexei Ulyukayev and a host of businessmen and bankers.