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Dalian will host third WEF meet
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This port city in Liaoning province will host the third annual conference of the World Economic Forum (WEF) New Champions meeting next year, WEF chief operating officer Andre Schneider said yesterday.

"The decision was based on the quality of facilities and the environment in Dalian, and its increasing recognition as a new champion city," Schneider said at a signing ceremony of the WEF's New Champions and Global Growth Companies (GGC) members.

The WEF had held the inaugural meeting of its new champions - companies and leaders who are changing the global economic landscape - in Dalian last year.

Known as the Summer Davos, after the host site of the WEF's own annual meetings, the GGC forum held in September in Dalian attracted more than 1,500 participants, including government officials, academics and business leaders from around the world.

Participants discussed major issues such as China's economic development, the changing global business environment and strategies for businesses to go global.

"Although it is not an easy task, with our joint efforts and real partnership, the meeting was a complete success and marked a new milestone of the forum's commitment to proving the state of the world and its relations with China," Schneider said.

The WEF is looking to forge a long-term relationship with Dalian, he said.

As for the new members, "they are not only the leading players in China, but also strong challengers and innovators who are reshaping the global business landscape", Schneider said.

The new members to the GGC community include the Dalian Port Group, Dalian Machine Tool Group, Dalian Bingshan Group and the Luming Science and Technology Group.

The WEF has 160 GGC members around the world, including 35 companies from China, 13 of which are from Dalian.

Dalian Mayor Xia Deren said: "With the deepening of cooperation between Dalian and the forum, more companies will become GGC members."

Xia regarded the WEF's decision to select Dalian again as "symbolizing the cooperation between Dalian and the forum as it enters a new era and a new standard".

"The annual meeting in 2009 will be a more successful and more global meeting," Xia said.

(China Daily February 21, 2008)

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