Global forum helps create local heroes

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Entrepreneurs attend gathering in Dalian to broaden their horizons

Entrepreneurs based in Dalian, the venue for the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2013 that's also known as Summer Davos, have benefited from the meeting due to growing international exposure of the northeast coastal city.

"Do I look more global?" Wu Hougang said with a smile as he replied to a reporter who asked what the Summer Davos had brought him.

Wu is president of Dalian Zhangzidao Group Co Ltd. He has been attending the meeting since 2007 when the first Summer Davos was staged in Dalian, where his company is based.

"This is an international platform. It gives both my company and myself a global view while tackling problems," said Wu.

"Learning from the forum, we have achieved a deeper understanding of the concept of sustainable growth. It has become a part of our company culture," he said.

Wu and Gao Jifan, president of Changzhou Trina Solar Ltd, are discussing the possibility of installing a solar energy system on Zhangzidao Island, where the company's main processing plants are located. The island will become a low-carbon, sustainable community.

"We bring our problems and difficulties to the meeting and discuss them with mentors and other experts. They give us suggestions and sometimes help us make an assessment and find a solution," Wu said.

Sherman Jen, president of China Maple Leaf Educational Systems, said this year was the first time he is taking part in the Summer Davos, and he had some surprises.

"Just now, I met Tang Liangzhi, mayor of Wuhan, in the elevator. Several years ago when he was director of the Wuhan East Lake High-tech Zone, he came to Dalian and invited me to set up an international school there," Jen told China Daily.

Maple Leaf is China's largest private international school system and Canada's largest offshore school system. It was founded with an enrollment of only 14 students in Dalian in 1995. Now, it operates 30 schools in Dalian, Wuhan, Tianjin, Chongqing and four other cities around the country.

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