by swisschambei in Bilateral Relations
In the summer of 2007, the World Economic Forum (WEF) came all the way from Davos, Switzerland, where its winter annual meetings are held, to Dalian, a coastal city in China. This renowned gathering of world business leaders had its first summer session in the East of the world from September 6 to 8. In 1978, Klaus Schwab, founder and Executive Chairman of the WEF, with his keen perception and insight, predicted that huge changes would take place in China. He later recalled that he was sure that China would play a vital role on the world stage when he read about Deng Xiaoping’s reform and opening-up policy in 1978. In the same year, he extended an invitation to Deng Xiaoping to the WEF. Deng didn’t attend himself, but he sent a high-level delegation headed by Qian Junrui, Director of the Institute of World Economics and Politics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, to the 1979 Annual Meeting. Three months later, Dr. Schwab visited Beijing with a European business delegation that included 20 CEOs. The two sides signed a memorandum of understanding in Beijing and established contact. From then on, China has never been absent from the Davos meetings. In the following decades, Dr. Schwab has worked actively for closer cooperation between the WEF and China and witnessed China’s journey of reform and opening-up.