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'Summer Davos' Integrates Fledging Companies into Top Economic Forum
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Over the past decades high-ranking officials and business people have been used to converging at Davos, a Swiss town famous for mountain skiing, to attend the annual meetings of the World Economic Forum (WEF). Now they have one more chance to meet each other.


From Sept. 6 to 8 this year, the WEF Inaugural Annual Meeting of the New Champions will be held in China's northeast coastal city of Dalian, where West meets East, mountain meets sea, winter meets summer and above all, the fledging meet the grown-up.


Founded in 1971 to "discuss a coherent strategy for European business to face challenge in the international marketplace", the WEF has grown into a global economic think-tank made up of business, political and academic leaders.


In comparison, the "Summer Davos" serves as a platform to link growth companies from across the world, seeking cooperation and development, said WEF founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab.


The invitation-only meeting in Dalian will get together more than 1,700 participants from 90 countries and regions, including TNT CEO Peter Bakker, Intel Corporation Board Chairman Craig Barrett, and PricewaterhouseCoopers Global CEO Samuel DiPiazza, according to the organizers.


However, unlike the "Winter Davos" which focuses on the top-500 companies, most of the Dalian participants with the business sector come from global growth companies (GGC) with an annual turnover between 100 million U.S. dollars and 5 billion dollars each and no less than 15 percent year-on-year growth.


Accordingly, the Dalian meeting will concentrate more on the growth challenges facing global companies as they expand outside their traditional markets, said WEF managing director and chief operating officer Andre Schneider earlier. In Dalian, the champions are privileged to interact with the leaders from the world's fastest growing countries, regions and cities with a strong representation from the Chinese government.


Premier Wen Jiabao of China with an annual GDP growth around ten percent for a decade will attend the meeting. Likely, the meeting will see Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Almaktoum, vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, and Singapore Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong.


Officials from the fast-growing "golden bricks" countries include Indian parliamentary members Naveen Jindal and Jyotiraditya Scindia, Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency Director Mauricio Borges, and Vice Minister of Foreign Trade of Brazil Ivan Ramalho.


Dalian used to rely on heavy industry, but now is growing fast in hi-tech industry. The city is an ideal location for holding the GGC meeting, said Schwab.


China's tremendous and continuous growth makes the country both a source for and target of the world's emerging global champions and a location to bring all these companies together, commented Schneider earlier.


Ten plenary sessions and about 80 penal discussions will be conducted during the meeting, focusing on GGC development and hot issues from global warming to AIDS.


About one-fifth of the topics are about China, including an outlook of China's capital market, intellectual property protection, challenges caused by fast growth and the opportunities brought by the Beijing Olympics, among others.


After holding its inaugural session in Dalian, the second summer meeting of the WEF will be held next year in Tianjin, a harbor city about 120 km to the east of Beijing.


(Xinhua News Agency September 5, 2007)


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