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The backstory: Established in 1971, the World Economic Forum (WEF) brings together political and business leaders to address global economic challenges. The annual Davos meeting from January 15 - 19 in Davos-Knosters, Switzerland, is a crucial event in the headlines lately. The 54th Annual Meeting for the WEF is prioritizing trust principles like transparency, consistency and accountability, according to organizers.
Key attendees this year included Israeli President Isaac Herzog, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, French President Emmanuel Macron and China's Premier Li Qiang. The US delegation featured Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan. Noteworthy business figures like Microsoft's Satya Nadella and OpenAI’s Sam Altman have also attended.
The development: So what are some highlights from China’s participation at the forum? China was back in action at the WEF, with its largest delegation since 2017, led by Premier Li. He assured everyone that the country’s open for business, easing worries about recent industry crackdowns. He pointed out that investing in China is more of an opportunity than a risk. Li had lunch with top business leaders, including CEOs from JPMorgan, Bank of America and Blackstone. According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Li reassured them that China is all set to handle any problems foreign companies might have. He mentioned it’s open to foreign businesses and guaranteed them fair treatment, wanting to create a stable and predictable business environment.
But JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon has some concerns. In a CNBC interview, he mentioned that, although China is open to financial services, things have changed, and investors need to be cautious. Despite this, Dimon appreciated China's commitment to being open and its positive role at the forum.
“Investing in China will bring huge returns and a better future,” Premier Li told executives of firms he described as “participants, witnesses and beneficiaries of China’s reform and opening up.”
“We welcome foreign enterprises to invest and do business in China, ensure national treatment for them, and will create a stable, fair, and predictable business environment, ” Li added
“If the American government makes me leave China, I’m leaving China,” said JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon at the DealBook Summit during a discussion in November.
“It’s necessary for a country that’s underperforming economically in a big way,” said Ian Bremmer to Semafor about China’s increased presence at Davos.