The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Summer Davos forum will open in China today. Chinese Premier Li Qiang will give the
The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Summer Davos forum will open in China today.
Chinese Premier Li Qiang will give the keynote speech of the WEF’s 14th Annual Meeting of the New Champions – commonly referred to as “Summer Davos”. Over 1,500 participants are expected to join, including many high-level delegations. Among them will be the prime ministers of New Zealand, Vietnam, Barbados and Mongolia, as well as several ministers from Saudi Arabia.
The event comes amidst China’s ongoing attempt at reigniting its economy, following the pandemic-induced slump. To this end, Li Qiang will meet with foreign dignitaries as well as the WEF’s Chairman Klaus Schwab to discuss prospects of closer economic cooperation with China. He will also seek to persuade potential investors and economic partners that China is open for business again. Saudi Arabia’s delegation will be of particular importance to Li, as the Kingdom is now China’s largest oil supplier and, in turn, China is its biggest trade partner. Li and his Mongolian counterpart are also expected to enhance economic cooperation, including on railway connections and green technologies.
Still, many international companies have become wary of China’s increasingly strict regulations and its government’s far-reaching powers to arbitrarily intervene in the private sector. Examples include a recent anti-espionage law and the barring of U.S. semiconductor manufacturer Micron from the Chinese market. Several bilateral agreements on economic cooperation will emerge from this event, but Li is unlikely to persuade private corporations that have already begun to divest from China.