Multi­na­tion­als still ‘drawn to China’

For­tune an­nounces global fo­rum to be held in Guangzhou

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By LIWENFANG in Guangzhou liwenfang@chi­

Multi­na­tional com­pany CEOs re­main very ea­ger to par­tic­i­pate in China’s growth and de­vel­op­ment, ac­cord­ing to the or­ga­nizer of For­tune Global Fo­rum, who an­nounced that next year’s fo­rum — the fifth to be held in China— will be held in the city of Guangzhou.

“There is no coun­try in the world that holds greater in­ter­est for multi­na­tional com­pany CEOs,” said John Need­ham, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of For­tune Global Fo­rum.

The de­ci­sion to host the fo­rum in Guangzhou next year means also the recog­ni­tion of China’s achieve­ments in the past few years, the prospects the coun­try of­fers in busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties, as well as the im­por­tance it holds in global af­fairs, said Jaime FlorCruz, China chair­man, For­tune Global Fo­rum.

For­tune Global Fo­rum is the an­nual con­fer­ence held by the US mag­a­zine For­tune. The fo­rum con­venes pres­i­dents, chair­men, CEOs of the world’s top com­pa­nies and also lead­ing economists.

In­au­gu­rated in 1995, the fo­rum has been held in 13 cities John Need­ham, world­wide, in­clud­ing the Chi­nese cities of Bei­jing, Hong Kong, Shang­ha­iandChengdu.

Since the first fo­rum held in Shang­hai in 1999, the num­ber of Chi­nese com­pa­nies on the For­tune Global 500 list has in­creased from less than 10 to 103, said Alan Mur­ray, chief con­tent of­fi­cer of Time Inc and ed­i­tor-inchief of For­tune, at the news con­fer­ence on Tues­day.

“It’s con­ceiv­able that some­day the ma­jor­ity of com­pa­nies on the global 500 list­may come from China, at least at the pace that we are go­ing at to­day,” Need­ham said.

In­no­va­tion is set to be a key is­sue at the fo­rum in Guangzhou, sched­uled in late Novem­ber or early De­cem­ber next year, with China “be­com­ing more and more in­no­va­tive and set­ting new stan­dards for the rest of the world,” he said.

With many Chi­nese com­pa­nies go­ing abroad these days for merg­ers and ac­qui­si­tions, the fo­rum also makes a plat­form­forChi­ne­seen­ter­prisesto look for part­ner­ships or even ac­qui­si­tions, FlorCruz said.

The fo­rum will help the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity bet­ter un­der­stand China’s mind­set for in­no­va­tive, co­or­di­nated, green, open and co-shar­ing de­vel­op­ment and deepen the eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion be­tween China and the rest of the world, said Zhang Hong­bin, deputy di­rec­tor of the In­ter­na­tional Af­fairs Bureau at the State Coun­cil In­for­ma­tion Of­fice.

When glob­al­iza­tion is faced with se­vere chal­lenges, the fo­rum in Guangzhou will be a strong proof of the im­por­tance of global com­merce and how sig­nif­i­cant the changes tech­nol­ogy is bring­ing to the world’s busi­ness, ed­i­tor-in-chief of For­tune, Alan Mur­ray, told the news con­fer­ence.

On choos­ing the cap­i­tal of Guang­dong province as the host city for the fo­rum next year, he said: “As a cen­ter of in­ter­na­tional trade for many cen­turies, Guangzhou is both a renowned sym­bol and a mod­ern man­i­fes­ta­tion of China’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in global com­merce.”

A to­tal of 288 of the world’s top 500 firms had in­vested in Guangzhou by June, said Cai Chaolin, deputy-mayor of Guangzhou.

There is no coun­try in the world that holds greater in­ter­est for multi­na­tional com­pany CEOs.” man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of For­tune Global Fo­rum num­ber of the world’s top 500 firms that had in­vested in Guangzhou by June

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