Addressing the opening plenary of the forum -- a first for a Chinese leader -- Xi also said no-one would emerge as the winner of a trade war.
China and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump are expected to dominate the summit even though Trump will not participate in the Davos meeting this year as he will be inaugurated as U.S. leader on Friday, the last day of this year’s event.
Trump has threatened to increase tariffs on goods imported from China when he takes office.
However, Xi told the forum: "Many of the problems troubling the world are not caused by economic globalization."
Despite a sluggish global economy, China’s economy is expected to grow by 6.7 percent in 2017, still among the highest in the world, Xi added.
Xi also said pursuing protectionism was like “locking oneself in a dark room: while wind and rain may be kept outside so are light and air”.
More than 3,000 politicians and business people from 100 countries will participate in about 400 sessions in the Swiss village.
The forum will also tackle a range of topics, including conflicts in Syria and Iraq plus the refugee crisis.
About 30 world leaders will attend the summit, including U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, World Trade Organization General Director Roberto Azevedo and IMF chief, Christine Lagarde.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek will participate in the forum on Friday in a one-on-one interview.