Dalian, a coastal city in Northeast China's Liaoning Province, is poised for a place on the world business map this summer when it hosts the Inaugural Annual Meeting of the New Champions, known as the "Summer Davos".
The meeting, organized by the World Economic Forum and the Chinese government, is expected to offer a new platform for interaction and collaboration between business leaders, technology pioneers and senior officials from different countries. Xia Deren, mayor of Dalian, spoke with China Daily reporter Wang Xu about the concept of New Champions and Dalian's preparation for the Summer Davos.
Q: What's the difference between the "Summer Davos" and the winter one?
A: The World Economic Forum held in Davos of Switzerland draws leaders from business, government and international institutions each year to exchange opinions and ideas. The themes of the event are usually the hottest economic and political topics of the year.
Now the world economy has entered a phase of development, as more and more new companies are emerging and reshaping the landscape of the business world. The Summer Davos, titled Annual Meeting of the New Champions, is expected to provide an opportunity for these new champions to exchange opinions on the latest issues of the world, such as energy, education, environment and technology.
The "new champions", as we call them, are a new generation of companies that will fundamentally change the global competitive landscape. They typically have an annual turnover between $2 billion and $4 billion, and no less than 15 percent year-on-year growth.
Q: Who are the participants in the Summer Davos and what's the main agenda?
A: The Summer Davos will be held on September 6 to 8 in Dalian. During the three-day event, there will be a "global young leaders' conference", which will invite 300 young political, scientific and cultural leaders to discuss issues such as leadership and social responsibility.
Meanwhile, three informal ministerial summits and a public health summit will allow participants to exchange opinions on the main obstacles of sustainable growth in the world.
At the same time, participants will also attend a total of 60 sessions covering the major topics of the global economic growth such as corporate governance, finance, information, capital, service and human resources.
So far, the World Economic Forum has invited the leaders from 24 countries and 120 ministers to attend the Summer Davos. We plan to invite 2,000 formal representatives, including CEOs from Fortune 1,000 companies, mayors from the most competitive cities in the world and national leaders from the fastest-growing countries.
For the time being, there are more than 600 representatives registered for the forum, including Craig Barrett, chairman of the board of Intel Corporation, and Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization.
Q: There were actually several cities in China keen to hold the Summer Davos. How did Dalian win the bid?
A: First, Dalian is an important port, industrial, trade and tourism city in northern China and has become the largest destination for foreign investment in Northeast China.
Dalian has been famous for its beautiful coastal view and its environment. At the same time, Dalian has excellent hospitality facilities; with seven five-star and 21 four-star hotels. There will be more than 1,000 volunteers for the event, who can speak English, Japanese, Korean and other languages.
Q: How about local enterprises' response to the Summer Davos?
A: Domestic companies have been quite interested in attending the event. As we have mentioned, a great deal of multinational companies will gather in Dalian at that time, and the meeting is a great platform for any business cooperation.
There will be more than 60 sessions during the Summer Davos. Some of the topics such as corporate governance and management could offer great insights for improving companies' competitiveness. The organizer of the World Economic Forum has visited more than 10 cities in China, including Qingdao, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Beijing. A number of Chinese Fortune 500 companies, such as Sinopec, CNOOC and China Mobile, will be coming to the event.
Q: How will Dalian present itself to the world during the Summer Davos?
A: There will be more than 8,000 guests coming to Dalian during the Summer Davos. I am sure they will be impressed by the beautiful city. At the same time, more than 1,000 domestic and foreign reporters will also come to report the event, which will help audience around the world know more about the city.
Meanwhile, we will organize a series of salons and forums to promote face-to-face exchanges between Dalian and multinational companies, trying to introduce them to Dalian's outstanding investment environment.