Summer Davos Forum in China and high quality development

Topics selected for the forum reflect that global leadership from diverse backgrounds, including politicians, government officials, experts, business community

By Shakeel Ahmad Ramay
June 17, 2024
A Chinese flag flutters on top of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China on October 18, 2023. — Reuters

China is hosting the Summer Davos Forum 2024. The forum will be organized under the theme of 'Next Frontiers for Growth.'

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The shortlisted topics for the forum are a new global economy; China and the world; entrepreneurship in the age of AI; new frontiers for industries; investing in people; and connecting climate, nature and energy.

The topics selected for the forum reflect that global leadership from diverse backgrounds, including politicians, government officials, experts, business community, etc., will be discussing the most pertinent issues that the world is facing today.

Moreover, the leadership will be deliberating on the future course of the economy, climate actions, and the role of technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI), in the welfare of humanity and the protection of the planet.

The Summer Davos Forum 2024 hosting has significant significance and relevance for China, as it is happening at a critical time in modern China’s history. Since President Xi assumed leadership, China has been striving to transition from Industry 3.0 to Industry 4.0.

President Xi initiated numerous actions to expedite the transition, including a new philosophy of development, new quality productive forces, and high-quality development. Adapting the vision of high-quality development has hastened the transition and scientific and technological progress.

Therefore, China is progressing on the scientific and technological ladder. It is pivotal to note that the vision of high-quality development encompasses all discussion areas of the Davos Forum 2024.

On the other hand, the event also has great relevance for the World, as China has become the epicenter of the global economy. It is the biggest trade partner of the world for many years. It is a new global economic growth driver.

It contributed 35% to global nominal GDP growth during the last decade. China's contribution in 2023 was 30% to global growth. It is expected that China will continue to be the leading growth contributor due to multiple factors.

First, it has one of the most sophisticated three-dimensional connectivity infrastructures. For example, it has direct air linkages with 100 countries. It is also connected with Central Asia and Europe through railway, which has helped to boost the trade.

Therefore, the world is pinning high hopes on China’s Summer Davos Forum 2024. The experts generally agree that the forum can benefit the world and China in multiple areas if the participants maintain a positive and cooperative attitude.

Firstly, the forum will provide a platform for exploring opportunities in the field of technology. It is common knowledge that the future drivers of economic growth will rely on technological advancements.

The ability to create scientific knowledge and innovate will determine countries’ economic power and status. China has become a leader in 37 of 44 critical technologies. It is a massive turnaround for a country that was considered a laggard in technology development.

Second, climate change and energy are other areas where the forum can contribute to bridging the gaps. These are the most important areas, as the dream of a prosperous, peaceful, harmonious, and beautiful world cannot be achieved without a healthy environment, ecosystem, and stable climate.

The participants are expected to discuss climate change with the merits and needs of actions, not to defend their geographical boundaries or business interests. China can make the discussion fruitful by offering cooperation in new types of industries, green industries, new energy types, renewable energy, and climate-friendly production methods.

It will strengthen China’s credentials as a host and leader in technology development. On the domestic level, China is already making significant contributions. For example, China is the largest producer of electric vehicles and holds over 50 percent of the renewable energy capacity in the national energy mix. It is important to note that the expansion of clean energy was made possible only through substantial investments.

In 2023, China invested US$ 980 billion, equivalent to the GDP of Switzerland or Turkey. Clean energy investment, production, and consumption contributed almost US$ 1.6 trillion to the national economy, serving as a major growth driver. China emerged as a key supplier of wind turbines and solar panels in 2022, accounting for 60% and 80% of the global supply, respectively. Consequently, cooperation with China promises positive results. However, for this cooperation to be successful, the West must move away from the blame game strategy.

Third, artificial intelligence is the future. However, it is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it will open many avenues of development. It can revolutionise the production and services sectors. On the other hand, it presents numerous challenges.

For example, it can introduce new types of crimes and can be a source of mass destruction. It can also compromise the individual lives and choices of people. Importantly, it can kill the spirit of creativity and knowledge.

Therefore, there is a strong need to cooperate. As a leading player in artificial intelligence and host of summer forum, China can create a new platform for the future cooperation and draw laws, principles, and standards for artificial intelligence.

Fourth, common people worldwide are facing numerous challenges, including food insecurity, increasing poverty, a lack of decent jobs or livelihood opportunities, and access to clean water and electricity. In this context, there is a need to push economic growth to create livelihood and job opportunities and solve the people’s problems.

Therefore, participants are expected to try to find a way to invest in people by avoiding political point scoring or narrow national interests. For that purpose, they must join hands to push for new investments and investment programs like BRI, etc.

In conclusion, a cooperative attitude, behavior, and commitment to the global community’s welfare can help create positive outcomes.

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