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Forum brings opportunity to knock
By Song Ning (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-05-10 00:00

A marathon "brainstorming session" to identify opportunities in China will attract scores of top scholars, business leaders and government officials next week.

More than 800 delegates are expected to attend the influential three-day FORTUNE Global Forum which opens in Beijing next Monday.

"The forum is a venue for ideas instead of business negotiations," Zhao Qizheng, minister of the State Council Information Office, told a news conference yesterday.

"It will benefit CEOs by generating new ideas and will allow them to understand more about the growth of the Chinese economy. It will allow them to offer their analyses about future investment prospects," he added.

Jaime A FlorCruz, chief representative of the FORTUNE Global Forum in Beijing, said: "We have a compelling, well-thoughtout agenda of topics."

More than 250 foreign companies - including 76 ranked among the Global 500 - will be represented. President Hu Jintao is expected to meet with some of the business leaders on Monday before he delivers a keynote speech at the opening ceremony.

The FORTUNE Global Forum is held annually by US publication FORTUNE Magazine. This will be its 10th year and its third forum held on Chinese soil. In 1999, Shanghai hosted the event, which returned and opened in 2001 in Hong Kong. It is viewed as one of the most influential business events by multinational companies - and some 50 CEOs will fly in especially in their private jets.

Chinese officials to attend include Vice-Premier Zeng Peiyan, Cheng Siwei, vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai, People's Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan and Minister of Science and Technology Xu Guanhua. They will brief the participants on China's economic policies and prospect for growth at the general session and during panel discussions.

"We expect the 2005 FORTUNE Global Forum to be probably the best ever," said FlorCruz.

China's continued economic growth, improved international relations and the increased attention by multinationals lay behind the decision by the US organizers to hold the event here for a third time, according to Zhao.

The FORTUNE Magazine cancelled the event in the previous two years to make sure the number of the participants would be a record this year.

The event's banner theme is "China and the New Asian Century."

"Booming Asia has created a win-win scenario, under which different economies supplement each other," Zhao said.

He added that China wants the rest of the world to share in its economic growth. "Our growth means opportunities for others," he said.

(China Daily 05/10/2005 page1)

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