As the curtain of three-day Summer Davos meeting in Dalian of northeastern
China is lowered, participants are loaded with hope while voicing
suggestions and making appeals.
Held in a developing country which has stunned the world with
sustained economic miracle over the past three decades, the global
meeting of the World Economic Forum surely had focused its heated
topics on China's economic expansion.
Unexpected by the participants, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao pointed out China's economic hike
was shadowed by problems such as unstable factors, imbalances and
the lack of sustainability.
In spite of the challenges, he expressed confidence in the
country's future economic growth. "Will such development momentum
continue? My answer is yes. We are fully confident..." he said.
Nearly 2,000 domestic and foreign officials, specialists and
business people could feel China's determination to achieve
sustainable development the moment they arrived in Dalian, when
their shuttle buses were powered by hybrid engines and the World
Expo Center covering 140,000 square meters was cooled with sea
China announced the ambitious goal of reducing the energy
consumption of per unit of its GDP (gross domestic product) by 20
percent and pollutant emission by ten percent during the 11th Five-
Year Plan (2006-2010).
Thomas L. Friedman, author of the book The World is Flat,
observed that China is undergoing a second economic transformation
from polluting economy to clean economy, which can be harder than
the transformation from planned economy to market economy.
However, he noted that the "green transformation" not only means
challenge but also opportunity, and China is likely to become an
innovator of low-cost green technologies.
Samuel A. DiPiazza, chief executive officer with
PricewaterhouseCooper, pointed out that China has advantages in its
cheap labor force and innovation capability. "Finding the right
way, its high-value-added industries can boom like those with lower
added values," he said.
Asia Chairman of Morgan Stanley Stephen Roach believed that
China is undergoing an unavoidable travail period, after which its
service industry shall stride onto a new stage.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao pledged at the Summer Davos that the
government will "be committed to a comprehensive, coordinated and
sustainable path of development that puts people's interests
"The premier's speech gives us a deeper insight into the inner
thinking of China's development at current stage and higher degree
of confidence in the country's future," said Professor Klaus
Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic
Talking about the Summer Davos, he believed it is "successful
and fruitful". "This is probably the best meeting...and sessions
from early morning to late night are interactive," he said.
He asked the delegates three questions in a panel session: Did
you make a new partner? Did you find an idea that could make
virtual change in your business strategy? Did you become aware of
more responsibility concerning environmental protection and social
As to the first question, two thirds of the attendants put up
their hands, while their responses to the last two questions were
E. Neville Isdell, chairman and chief executive officer of the
Coca-Cola Company, was inspired by the meeting, especially a
conversation with Premier Wen Jiabao. "China is currently our
fourth largest market, but I hope it could become No.1." He was
Liu Jiren, chairman and chief executive officer of China's
Liaoning-based Neosoft Group, said that he had found a partner of
his company during the meeting, figured out the company's future
direction and identified its responsibility.
A growth company community for "big companies in the process of
becoming giant and multinational" has been set up during the
meeting. Liu's Neosoft is one of the members.
Economic issue is not the only one grabbing the spotlight of the
At a plenary session on Saturday afternoon, Dr. Peter Piot,
executive director of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS
(UNAIDS), called on businesses to shoulder more responsibility
while educating their employees.
"China is making enormous progress in combating HIV/AIDS," he
said. "It has fully recognized the hazard of the disease and the
government is becoming more transparent in publicizing relevant
According to estimates by the country's Ministry of Health and
the World Health Organization, China has about 650,000 people
living with HIV/AIDS at present, 75,000 of them have developed
"Protecting the employees is not only out of morality, but also
for the interests of the company," he said. However, he noted that
few Chinese companies in the tide of economic boom realized the
Piot suggested AIDS be included into a company's risk
He also said that the policies of non-discrimination should be
drafted in the company, education as how to protect against the
fatal disease be conducted and all employees should have access to
Sir Martin Sorrel, chief executive officer of WPP Group, the
world's second biggest advertising and marketing company, added
that companies also have social responsibility to do their own part
in the anti-AIDS campaign.
"Pharmaceutical companies should make breakthroughs in
developing new medicines while logistic companies help deliver the
medicine," he said.
Kawada Ryuhei, member of the House of Councilors in Japan,
shared his experience as an HIV-infected with other participants.
The 31-year-old man got infected by blood transfusion when he was a
kid but has always remained optimistic.
After his speech titled "I do not give up hope", the modest
Japanese was greeted with thunderous applause. "People's support
made my future path shining with more hope," he beamed.
While participants were packing their luggage to leave the
glitzy glass-walled World Expo Center, Tianjin City about 800 km
away began to count down for the next session of Summer Davos.
"As Tianjin is closer to Beijing, I hope we can draw more
participants," said Dai Xianglong, mayor of the coastal city.
Klaus Schwab said he hoped the next session would be another
(Xinhua News Agency September 9, 2007)