WEF: Summer Davos to highlight economic growth, emerging tech and more
Updated 18:07, 25-Jun-2023
Chen Yurong
The "Summer Davos" theme lights are lit on the banks of the Haihe River in Tianjin, China, June 21, 2023. /CFP

The "Summer Davos" theme lights are lit on the banks of the Haihe River in Tianjin, China, June 21, 2023. /CFP

The World Economic Forum's (WEF) 14th Annual Meeting of the New Champions (AMNC), also known as "Summer Davos," is set to resume from June 27 to 29 in Tianjin, China, after a four-year hiatus.

As the global economy undergoes a transformative phase, the meeting will be held under the theme of "Entrepreneurship: The Driving Force of the Global Economy."

Klaus Schwab, WEF founder and executive chairman, said in a WEF article published in April that the world is experiencing deep systemic and structural economic, geopolitical and technological transformations challenging traditional patterns.

"To master this transformation process and to create a more sustainable, more resilient and more cohesive world requires entrepreneurship and cooperation," Schwab said.

The events of this meeting will delve into six core themes: rewiring growth, China in the global context, energy transition and materials, post-pandemic consumers, safeguarding nature and climate, and deploying innovation, according to WEF website.

The core objective of this forum is to re-energize innovation and entrepreneurship in Asia and around the world. It aims to explore ways of economic recovery, finalize new industry models and partnerships, and drive the world economy toward a more equitable, sustainable, and resilient future, according to WEF Greater China chairman Chen Liming.

Meijiang Convention and Exhibition Center, the venue of the 14th AMNC, Tianjin, China. /CFP
Meijiang Convention and Exhibition Center, the venue of the 14th AMNC, Tianjin, China. /CFP

Meijiang Convention and Exhibition Center, the venue of the 14th AMNC, Tianjin, China. /CFP

Policy response 'key to restoring market confidence'

Since the 13th AMNC taking place in Dalian City, Liaoning Province in 2019, the past four years have witnessed significant challenges, such as the global health crisis, inflation and economic recession, "decoupling" and food and energy crises.

Chen emphasizes that these challenges need to be jointly addressed by all countries. "The notion of complete decoupling and de-globalization is unrealistic," he said in a recent interview with Southern Weekly.

China, as the world's second-largest economy, plays an important and indispensable role in many fields, including global politics, economy, climate change, and technological innovation. Therefore, any action taken by China will have wide-ranging influence, Chen said.

China's economic rebound is expected to lift hope and market confidence, contributing to around a third of global economic growth in 2023.

Looking ahead to the upcoming AMNC, Wang Dan, chief economist of Hang Seng Bank (China), said there is a greater emphasis this year on promoting innovation through entrepreneurship, "which is crucial for China's economic recovery."

She pointed out that China's economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic has been uneven, driven by a natural rebound in consumption and services.

Wang emphasized that the key to restoring market confidence lies in policy responses. She expects policymakers to focus on long-term structural reforms while providing targeted support in areas such as industrial upgrading and the green transition.

As China's economic recovery has been affected by the slowing global economy, the government is mulling "even more powerful" measures to push for a continued return to economic prosperity, according to a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Qiang in mid-June. The new policies will focus on macro-adjustments, expanding effective demand, boosting real economy and preventing major risks, the meeting statement said.

Officials and business leaders will discuss countermeasures to current challenges and opportunities at the Summer Davos' sub-forums, such as "Braving the Headwinds: Rewiring Growth Amid Fragility," "The Future of the Belt and Road Initiative," and "China's Economy: The Big Rebound?"

Emerging technologies: 'the new engine'

Over the past four years, emerging technologies, such as increasingly sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI), have gained significant attention and sparked discussions about their potential impact on human society and future development.

During the meeting, the WEF will release the 2023 edition of the Top 10 Emerging Technologies Report. This report will provide expert insights and predictions to help decision-makers and the public anticipate the next wave of technologies and understand how to seize associated opportunities while mitigating risks.

"In the long term, transformative technologies, such as AI and quantum computing, will be the engine for growth and will reshape the industrial landscape," Wang told CGTN.

Other highlights

The meeting also seeks measures to address key issues in energy, climate, healthcare, and more.

The session "Pulling Together for the Energy Transition" aims to bridge the gap in energy transition among countries and sectors and generate solutions that provide secure, sustainable, just, and affordable energy for all.

In the session "Could Climate Change Cause a Financial Crisis?" leading experts will discuss the reality of climate risks to businesses and the potential macro-level challenges they could create. Another session on climate finance will focus on how China plans to address the funding gap for financing its green transition to achieve net-zero emissions.

The session "Healthcare Systems of Tomorrow" will explore critical interventions needed today to fund and implement innovative approaches for the future of healthcare systems.

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