Economy experts gathered at the opening of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Wednesday, describing a gloomy outlook for the global economy.

In one panel, one noted the challenges that the world will face in 2009 while others were skeptical that stimulus packages approved by developed nations would be enough to pull the world from the current economic crisis, according to the Financial Times

The world is in a protracted recession and has not hit the bottom yet, said an audience member, World Bank Chief Economist, Justin Lin.

Economist Stephen Roach, chairman of Morgan Stanley predicted economic growth of 2.5 percent worldwide for the next three years, calling it a near recession. Growth in the last 4 and a half years has been over 5 percent, the Associated Press noted.

Some of the attendants to the opening observed that beyond a financial and economic crisis, what the world is facing now is a confidence crisis, suggesting governments and central banks must act decisively.

Over 2,500 international participants will attend the Forum in the snowy mountain town of Davos. Guests include heads of state, key finance, foreign affairs, trade and energy ministers as well as Chief Executive officers of global firms, social entrepreneurs and religious leaders.