-- Interview with Gao Jian, Deputy Director General of the International Cooperation Department of the National Development and Reform Commission
From June 15, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the World Economic Forum (WEF) jointly arranged a 4-day special visit to Kunming and Chuxiong prefecture of Yunnan province for 18 representatives from 12 multinational enterprises. "The NDRC/WEF survey along with the government-enterprise exchange is an innovative initiative to help us gain a better understanding of China's opening-up policies and initiatives to improve the business environment." Xu Yang, vice president of Dow Chemical Greater China, and representatives of multinational companies who participated in the survey all had the same feeling.
The NDRC and the WEF have innovated ways of cooperation and jointly launched a series of activities, including the "Walking Davos" survey and government-enterprise exchange meetings. The reporter learned that last year, the two sides jointly organized multinational enterprises to carry out visit in Zhejiang, Dalian and Tianjin, and this trip to Yunnan was the first stop of the "Walking Davos" brand activity this year.
Why did they choose Yunnan for this survey? How to evaluate the cooperation between China and the World Economic Forum? How to further enhance bilateral cooperation? Recently, reporters from China Reform News and Reform Net interviewed Gao Jian, Deputy Director General of the Department of International Cooperation of the National Development and Reform Commission, who is leading the Chinese survey team.
Q: Why did you organize multinational companies to carry out this survey in Kunming and Chuxiong Prefecture of Yunnan Province?
Gao Jian: The WEF enjoys a high reputation as an unofficial high-level international economic forum. The WEF attaches great importance to China's economic development. As the leading coordinating unit of the WEF, the NDRC has maintained long-term friendly cooperation with the WEF. The WEF is regarded as " the highest unofficial international economic forum". Last summer, due to the outbreak of the COVID-19, Davos summer forum was not held as scheduled. The National Development and Reform Commission and the World Economic Forum innovated cooperation mode. They launched “Walking Davos” survey and held exchange activities between the government and enterprises and led multinational enterprises to visit local China, promoting good business environment in China and building a platform for exchanges and cooperation between the government and enterprises. Three activities were held in Hangzhou and Yiwu of Zhejiang last October, Dalian and Tianjin in December, and two exchanges between the government and enterprises were held in Chengdu last November and Beijing in May this year. The series of activities were highly praised by representatives of multinational enterprises and local governments, which strengthened the confidence of multinational enterprises to invest and develop in local areas, and further established the brand of "Walking Davos".
This year marks the beginning of the 14th Five-Year Plan. In order to further publicise China's opening-up policy and measures to improve the business environment, attract multinational companies to invest and conduct long-term cooperation in China and smooth the circulation of the international industrial chain and supply chain, we will continue to conduct the "Walking Davos" activities, which will be mainly around the theme of "green development" to carry out the field visit. This year we choose Kunming of Yunnan provinces as the first stop. The main consideration is to achieve carbon peaking before 2030, and carbon neutrality before 2060. It is a major strategic decision made by President Xi Jinping. Yunnan is an important gateway open to the southwest of China. It is China's opening-up pilot area and leading area in the western region to carry out the strategy of "going out", and is also our country’s important treasure of biodiversity and ecological security barrier in the southwest . The 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) will be held in Kunming, Yunnan. We hope to promote and attract multinational enterprises to invest and conduct long-term cooperation in Yunnan by organizing joint field visit, in order to boost industrial transformation and upgrading and high-quality economic development in Yunnan Province.
Reporter: What is the schedule of this survey?
Gao Jian: This survey is conducted from June 15 to 18. The schedule is very tight, the Department of International cooperation of the NDRC and Beijing representative office of the WEF lead 12 multinational executives to carry on discussion and carry out field visits with the local government and local leading enterprises in Yunnan. They will have an insight into policies to attract foreign investment and measures to improve the business environment. Centering on the theme of "green development", in Kunming, we will visit Kunming City Planning Museum, Central Yunnan New District, Biodiversity Experience Park, BOE silicon-based OLED micro-display project, etc. In Chuxiong, we will visit Chuxiong Yuze Semiconductor Co., Ltd., Chuxiong Jinko Co., Ltd., Moorfarm, etc.
Question: How do you evaluate the cooperation between China and the World Economic Forum?
Gao Jian: Since its establishment, the WEF has been providing services to enterprises by organizing conferences and activities on a wide range of topics and in various forms, studying and discussing world economic issues. It has gained extensive international influence and played an important role in promoting international economic cooperation and exchanges. Since 1979, China has maintained a good cooperative relationship with the World Economic Forum. Chinese leaders have attended the winter annual meetings of the World Economic Forum for many times. So far, the National Development and Reform Commission and the World Economic Forum have successfully hosted 13 Summer Davos Forum in China.
As the leading coordinating department of the WEF, NDRC has carried out long-term and friendly cooperation with the WEF for many years, such as guiding the WEF to organize the Summer Davos Forum in China, attending the WEF Winter Annual Meeting, promoting the joint construction of Belt and Road Initiative, the brand "Walking Davos" formed last year in cooperation with the WEF. The World Economic Forum has participated in the Belt and Road Innovation and Development Center cooperation. The content of cooperation between the two parties has continued to deepen, the areas of cooperation have been continuously expanded, and the results of cooperation have become increasingly rich.
-- Further promote communication and exchanges with multinational enterprises. Through the World Economic Forum, Chinese leaders interact with foreign leaders and world-renowned entrepreneurs, publicize China's concept of peaceful development and common development, interpret China's economic policies and measures, dispel doubts and play a unique role in promoting communication and exchanges between China and the rest of the world.
-- Further provide intellectual support of think tanks. The World Economic Forum has systematic resources, forward-looking thinking model and strong research capacity around the world. Its annual Global Competitiveness Report is unique and authoritative and widely recognized by all sectors of the world. Many of the key topics of the Summer Davos Forum, such as the Belt and Road Initiative, employment, energy, innovation and the quality of growth, are closely related to China's economic and social development.
--Further expand the enterprise's international vision. At present, there are four Chinese companies as strategic partners of the World Economic Forum and 96 other Chinese companies as members of the World Economic Forum. The World Economic Forum provides a rare exchange platform for Chinese enterprises to learn advanced concepts of international management, seek partners and integrate into the international market.
-- Further enhance the international influence of the host city. By hosting the Summer Davos Forum, Tianjin and Dalian have had the opportunity to have extensive contact with the business network of the World Economic Forum, which is composed of thousands of the world's top transnational corporations, expanding the space of opening up to the outside world and raising their visibility.
Reporter: What other measures will the National Development and Reform Commission take to strengthen the cooperation with the World Economic Forum?
Gao Jian: The COVID-19 epidemic has brought many difficulties and challenges to the economic development of all countries. The World Economic Forum has made a lot of efforts to deal with the epidemic. China attaches great importance to its cooperation with the World Economic Forum. On January 25, President Xi Jinping attended the dialogue on the Davos Agenda of the World Economic Forum by video and delivered a special speech. Xi jinping, called for international community to work together in solving four major issues facing the era, appealed to jointly safeguard and practice multilateralism and promote to build a human community with a shared future. It provided important thoughts for countries to work together to meet this challenge and build a better home planet, which represented the Chinese wisdom and sense of responsibility and sparked international enthusiastic responses. Next, the NDRC will continue to deepen cooperation with the World Economic Forum from two aspects.
Refine and strengthen the brand. First, we will continue to do well in the two major brand activities of the World Economic Forum. In particular, we will do a good job in China's attendance at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Winter and lead the coordination of the preparations for the World Economic Forum in Summer. Second, China will actively participate in various activities of the World Economic Forum, encourage government and business representatives to participate in the Forum, and increase the participation of Chinese people in various important platforms of the Forum. Third, we will work with the World Economic Forum to jointly promote the Belt and Road Initiative and leverage the role of the World Economic Forum as a platform for international cooperation and contribute to global economic recovery and sustainable development.
Innovate and strive for excellence. In the future, the NDRC and the WEF will continue to carry out a series of activities called "Walking Davos", and jointly organize government-enterprise exchanges and local field visit. In the second half of the year, the National Development and Reform Commission and the World Economic Forum will hold the second government-enterprise exchange meeting in Beijing, and jointly organize multinational enterprises to carry out field visit in Hainan and other places, to exchange local opening-up policies and experience and practices in achieving high-quality development, and to discuss issues such as multinational enterprises' investment and cooperation in local areas.