Business / Economy

Backgrounder: The World Economic Forum

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-01-22 21:17

BEIJING - The World Economic Forum (WEF), based in Geneva, is an international non-governmental organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging leaders in partnerships to shape global, regional and industrial agendas.

The forum, initially known as the European Management Forum, was founded in 1971 by Klaus M. Schwab, who was then a professor of business policy at the University of Geneva.

In 1987, the forum changed its name to the World Economic Forum and sought to broaden its vision by focusing on international concerns. Its agenda now includes the most pressing problems facing the world, ranging from political, military and security concerns, to bilateral and regional issues.

The event is also known as the "Davos Forum" thanks to its annual meetings in Davos, Switzerland.

The forum currently has more than 1,000 members, all of which are major companies driving the world economy forward. The forum also forges strategic and industry partnerships with its selected members. It sponsors international economic seminars each year together with state governments and enterprises worldwide.

Due to its increasing global influence, the forum has been hailed as a  "top-level non-governmental global economic forum," in which international political and business leaders, as well as leaders of civil and social organizations, can exchange views on worldwide economic issues.

China has kept close engagement with the WEF and has sent delegations to the forum's annual meetings since 1979. In June 2006, the forum opened its regional office in Beijing.

On September 6, 2007, the first "Summer Davos" meeting, or the Annual Meeting of the New Champions, was held in the Chinese port city of Dalian.

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