Global CEOs gather in Shanghai for annual mayoral advisory meeting
Updated 21:10, 31-Oct-2018
CGTN’s Xu Mengqi
A week ahead of China's first-ever international import expo in Shanghai, global CEOs gathered in the host city for the annual meeting of the International Business Leaders Advisory Council (IBLAC). 
Marking its 30th anniversary, this year's IBLAC meeting is themed on “New Era, New Start, New Action: Shanghai's opening up on a high level in the new context,” with three panel discussions focusing respectively on creating a business environment more aligned with international practices, helping Shanghai to become a hub of the Belt and Road Initiative, and branding Shanghai successfully to further reform and opening up across the board.
The discussions are designed to address concerns of foreign enterprises operating in China. “To conduct business in China is challenging, because there are a number of questions, such as protection of IP rights, and how to compete with Chinese companies,” said Jacob Wallenberg, chairman of Investor AB, but the Swedish investment company also expressed its confidence in China, “but I would argue it is very much doable and it is up to us foreign international companies to continue to invest in order to be competitive here.”
Shanghai mayor Ying Yong gives a keynote speech at the 2018 IBLAC meeting. /CGTN photo

Shanghai mayor Ying Yong gives a keynote speech at the 2018 IBLAC meeting. /CGTN photo

A perfect case in point: ABB, a Swiss technology leader in power grids, electrification products and industrial automation -- also a member of the advisory council -- announced one day prior to the meeting that it would invest another 150 million US dollars in building a state-of-the-art robotics factory in Shanghai.
Ying Yong, the mayor of Shanghai, reassured international businesses that the city, which now houses more than 50,000 foreign enterprises and 653 multinational headquarters, is committed to opening up further and building a world-class business environment. 
Many at the meeting also stressed upon the importance of the first-ever China international import expo (CIIE) as a platform for them to display their products and know-how, and support China's development agenda. According to mayor Ying Yong, more than 2,800 enterprises from over 130 countries will participate in the CIIE, due to take place from November 5 to 10.