WEF president to Trump: 'You only succeed if others do too'

  • Asked specifically about Trump's "America First" agenda, the WEF President Borge Brende told CNBC Sunday that every government has a responsibility to make a priority of its own country
  • However, he added that it wasn't a "zero sum game"

The president of the World Economic Forum (WEF) has urged Donald Trump to collaborate with other countries, just days ahead of an expected appearance by the U.S. president at the economic conference in Davos, Switzerland.

Asked specifically about Trump's "America First" agenda, the WEF President Borge Brende told CNBC Sunday that every government has a responsibility to make a priority of its own country. However, he added that it wasn't a "zero sum game."

"You only succeed if others do well too," he said.

Trump is the first U.S. president to attend WEF's annual meeting since Bill Clinton in 2000, though Trump's attendance may be hampered by an ongoing U.S. government shutdown over spending plans.

Brende cited the example of economic growth in Europe, which he said led to increased demand for U.S. and Chinese products, as an example of successful collaboration.

Larry Busacca | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

"We are very pleased to welcome the president to Davos," Brende, formerly Norway's foreign minister, added. He highlighted that the event will host 70 heads of state and government — including six G-7 leaders — and address "more inclusive economic growth," as well as environmental issues and "securing that we're not moving into a situation where we're seeing asset bubbles being developed."

Brende said that he wanted to see if Trump addresses "trade (and) more equitable globalization" at the event, as well as climate change and the U.S.' policy "post-Paris," referring to Trump's decision in June last year to withdraw the U.S. from the historic COP21 agreement.