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Tianjin’s leaders say they’re ready to host 10th Summer Davos

Zhang Min/Wu Hong
Updated: Jun 25,2016 11:38 AM     China Daily

A view of Tianjin. [Photo/China Daily]

Under the proposal of Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, the first Annual Meeting of the New Champions, widely known as Summer Davos, was held in Dalian, Liaoning province, in 2007. Fortune 500 companies, rising enterprises and national and regional governments attended the inaugural meeting. Since that time, the meeting’s location has alternated between the cities of Dalian and Tianjin. Tianjin hosted the second, fourth, sixth and eighth events. It will host the 10th meeting this year.

The Summer Davos forum is a platform where business leaders from all over the world share their insights.[Photo/China Daily]

In describing the event, Tong Jiadong, an official at Tianjin’s Summer Davos office and vice-president of Nankai University, summarized the past decade by noting that nine of the topics hinged on economic growth.

“Throughout the history of Summer Davos, the global economy has evolved and China’s pace of economic growth has shifted. There are many questions from that period that are worth considering.”

He added that the forum is not just an international site where scholars like him can offer global perspectives to questions, but also an opportunity for Chinese scholars to keep up with their research and gain valuable insight to help develop Chinese society.

The Summer Davos forum is a platform where business leaders from all over the world share their insights.[Photo/China Daily]

“We realized that we should pay more attention to global issues, China’s issues in the global context, and Tianjin’s role as a leading city. Only by doing this can scholars provide research results of value.”

Over the years, Tianjin has become better equipped to host international events. It can provide events with major venues, accommodations and living arrangements for participants and it is cooperating and communicating more smoothly with the World Economic Forum, the Swiss nonprofit foundation based in Geneva. Tianjin also hopes to convey its image as an open port city that has increased its foreign exchanges and international awareness.

“Many enterprises have expanded their international business thanks to the forum, such as the Northern Materials and Equipment Group, Tianjin Pipe Group and the Cotton Exchange Market Co, and now more are joining the forum as its importance on the international stage for their development becomes more obvious,” Tong said.

A tour of the Haihe River unveils the charm of Tianjin as a modern metropolis. [Photo/China Daily]

The forum has broadened the minds of more Tianjin residents through such government-arranged activities as “Citizens Approaching Davos”. Its “Tianjin Night” galas, with rich performances that feature many regional traditions and customs, has impressed guests from home and abroad.

The Tianjin Song and Dance Theater, the city’s largest troupe, has played a pivotal role in Summer Davos forums. Gao Jiulin, head of the troupe, said he cannot remember the number of shows they’ve put on.

“Once I took a folk music team to the Winter Davos in Switzerland to promote the summer forum here and when our girls in traditional costumes played Chinese music, nearly everyone was attracted to the Tianjin exhibit,” he said.

In Tianjin, the artists have seen a better, more influential summer forum every year.

“Economy and culture are two wheels of the wagon and no one can miss them. Tianjin’s economy has grown rapidly these years, and the culture needs to keep pace. To better serve the Summer Davos, the troupe will continue to create better programs that represent Tianjin and China’s characteristics,” Gao said.

Chen Xi, a dancer in the troupe, said she was a classical dance student at the Tianjin Conservatory of Music in 2012 when she took part in Summer Davos and later, as a member of the troupe, she was lucky enough to be in the show in 2014.

She said from a student to a performer, she has matured apace with Summer Davos.

“In 2012, I was a minor dancer who had just learned whatever the teacher taught us and tried to do the movements well up on stage. But in 2014, I was in the opening dance as a creative dancer who could express the character’s personality and mind.”

At this year’s Tianjin Night gala, guests will be able to enjoy the performances, which will again feature a blend of classical and folk music, fashion elements, superb acrobatics and martial arts as well as Tianjin’s folk opera — all of them will display an internationalized and yet authentic Tianjin.