Leaders gathering at Annual Meeting of the New Champions are optimistic about growth
• Leaders at Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2008 optimistic about opportunity for global growth
• It is the first major industry meeting in the wake of the global financial crisis
• The meeting will examine current economic risks, power shifts and opportunities for growth
• Read more about the meeting at: http://www.weforum.org/newchampions
Tianjin, People’s Republic of China – World leaders gathering in Tianjin for the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2008 are optimistic about the opportunity for global growth despite the financial turmoil. It is the first major industry meeting since the economic crisis last week.
The meeting is held in partnership with the Government of the People’s Republic of China, represented by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). The meeting will focus on the response of the new generation of fast-emerging multinational companies to the current economic challenges and future opportunities under the theme “The Next Wave of Growth”, and will welcome 1,400 participants from 90 countries. Premier Wen Jiabao will give the opening address on Saturday 27 September.
“Over the next few days, we are going to get to talk to Global Growth Companies (GGCs), and I believe there is a high degree of business optimism on their part,” said James S. Turley, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Ernst & Young, USA, at a press conference of GGC Mentors. “Difficult times reveal an enormous amount of needs and GGCs see those needs and develop solutions to meet them. Larger companies might see these tough times and ask ‘what do we stand to lose?’ while GGCs say ‘what do we stand to gain?’ The former leads to paralysis, while the latter leads to gain,” he continued.
GGC Mentor Jiang Jianqing, Chairman of the Board, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, People’s Republic of China, noted that business and financial leaders have chosen to participate in the Annual Meeting of the New Champions despite the economic turmoil. “The Forum provides a very good platform for communication and discussion. People will see how to address the financial crisis, the lessons we can draw and what chronic issues we should focus on – regulation, the size of entities, redefining the architecture of the financial system,” he said.
“I’m excited about the opportunity for dialogue and interaction with these 200-plus Global Growth Companies,” said Samuel A. DiPiazza Jr, Chief Executive Officer, PricewaterhouseCoopers International, PricewaterhouseCoopers, USA, a GGC Mentor. “I’ll be visiting with them, talking about the role business has in society that is about creating solutions to big problems while creating opportunities for growth,” he said. Thomas Enders, Chief Executive Officer, Airbus, France, added: “My goal is to learn. I’m flattered to be a Mentor, but my primary role will be to learn about the Chinese environment and the New Champions.”
“The growth in China is almost touchable, and so this is a good environment to have this meeting. While the focus will be on the crisis in the financial world, there are two more crises in the world – food supply and climate change. So one of my hopes is that we have young companies wanting to grow fast with true entrepreneurship sit down and look at these crises to see what innovations we could jointly think up, and how we could stimulate these companies to look at risks and opportunities,” said GGC Mentor Peter Bakker, Chief Executive Officer, TNT, Netherlands.
Liquidity is key for GGCs to continue expanding, according to James H. Quigley, Global Chief Executive Officer, Deloitte, USA. “I don’t believe a global recession will occur because the strength of monetary and fiscal tools are such that very a dire outcome can be avoided. But there are some very important actions to be taken yet.”
The following select group of CEOs from the most respected corporations, invited as Mentors, are engaging with future global industry leaders and deepening their understanding and commitment to corporate global citizenship:
Peter Bakker, Chief Executive Officer, TNT NV
Samuel A. DiPiazza Jr, Chief Executive Officer, PricewaterhouseCoopers International
Thomas Enders, Chief Executive Officer, Airbus SAS
Frank Ning Gaoning, Chairman, COFCO
Khalid Abdulla Janahi, Chairman, Ithmaar Bank
Jiang Jianqing, Chairman of the Board, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited
James H. Quigley, Global Chief Executive Officer, Deloitte
William R. Rhodes, Senior Vice-Chairman, Citigroup; Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Citibank NA, Citi
James S. Turley, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Ernst & Young
Ruben K. Vardanian, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Troika Dialog Group
Yang Yuanqing, Chairman of the Board, Lenovo
Note to Editors:
For more information about the meeting, please visit: http://www.weforum.org/newchampions
Download photos of last year’s meeting and the upcoming one at: http://www.pbase.com/forumweb/tianjin2008
Live webcasts of all plenary sessions (27-28 September): http://www.weforum.org/tianjin/webcast
All press conferences will be broadcast live on http://www.qik.com/worldeconomicforum and http://www.mogulus.com/worldeconomicforum where viewers can post live questions to the panellists.
Please note the Young Global Leaders Annual Summit 2008, a gathering of over 200 YGLs, will take place in Tianjin on 24-28 September.
Note for the media: press accreditation is now closed.
The official co-host broadcasters for the Annual Meeting of the New Champions are Phoenix Satellite Television in collaboration with Tianjin TV.
The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging leaders in partnerships to shape global, regional and industry agendas.
Incorporated as a foundation in 1971, and based in Geneva, Switzerland, the World Economic Forum is impartial and not-for-profit; it is tied to no political, partisan or national interests (http://www.weforum.org).
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