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Guangzhou readies for Fortune forum

Around 1,000 government officials and senior business executives will attend the 2017 Fortune Global Forum, which will open on Dec 6 in Guangzhou, Guangdong province.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Chairman and CEO of Tencent Holdings Ma Huateng, Alibaba Group Chairman Jack Ma and Foxconn Technology Group Chairman Terry Gou will be among the participants, according to Alan Murray, chief content officer of Time Inc and editor-in-chief of Fortune magazine.

“Guangzhou is the ideal city to hold the 2017 Fortune Global Forum as it is the political, economic and transportation center in Guangdong province and the southern Chinese region,” Murray told reporters at a news conference on Dec 3.

The forum will last three days. This year’s title is “Openness and Innovation: Shaping the Global Economy”.

Of the companies to attend, 152 are among the world’s top 500, with more than 50 having established their headquarters in Guangzhou. Their combined annual earnings exceed $9 trillion, and together they employ 23.5 million workers, Murray said.

Murray, who arrived in Guangzhou on the morning of Dec 3, said the city looks more beautiful each time he visits. It is his third trip to the southern metropolis.

Zhang Hongbin, deputy director of the International Affairs Bureau at the State Council Information Office, said the Chinese government attaches great importance to the forum, which is expected to promote cooperation between China and foreign nations.

In 2016, Guangzhou’s GDP was 1.96 trillion yuan ($296 billion), ranking it third among Chinese cities. Its exports reached 518.59 billion yuan, up 3 percent year-on-year, while total imports grew 3.3 percent to 337.84 billion yuan.

Last year, Guangzhou was the world’s sixth-busiest seaport by cargo tonnage, while Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport ranked 15th in passenger volume.