Business leaders, analysts, and policymakers discuss China’s entrepreneurial landscape at China Globalization Forum.
The world is becoming increasingly multipolar with the locus for world-changing innovation shifting to the Chinese city of Shenzhen, concluded industry leaders in business, finance, and government at the first annual China Globalization Forum.
“Anyone who stepped foot into Silicon Valley in the 1980s with 10,000 hours of programming experience under their belt found a world of opportunity waiting for them,” said Shunee Yee, CEO and Founder of CSOFT International, opening the summit. “That kind of excitement can now be found in Shenzhen, a ‘city built with a purpose’ for innovation and entrepreneurship.”
The inaugural China Globalization Forum is a summit arranged by the multinational globalization company CSOFT International. The forum convened leaders in Chinese business, policy, and academia, as well as representatives from English and Chinese-language media, at Shenzhen’s Intercontinental Hotel.
This year’s keynotes included Marisa Drew, Co-Head EMEA Investment Banking and Capital Markets at Credit Suisse International, Wang Huiyao, Counselor of the State Council, and Wang Shi, founder and chairman of China Vanke. Xu Qin, mayor of Shenzhen, and Dr. He Chengzhou, co-director for the Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University center, also gave remarks.
Founded with the intention of sharing the best practices and trends among globalizing businesses, organizations, and supporting institutions, the China Globalization Forum fosters dialogue between game changers.
“This summit will improve dialogue between companies and the globalization ability of companies,” said Gu Xueming, President of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, a partner organization for the event.
The Forum also marked the official launch of the Shenzhen 100 Report, an annual index for global maturity that ranks the most innovative companies in Shenzhen. Among the ‘Top Ten Risers and Transformers’ highlighted by the report were technology companies Tencent and Huawei, genetic sequencing giant BGI, drone maker DJI, and fashion line Koradior.
The Shenzhen 100 is the first of its kind: an innovative index with a blend of hard data and qualitative indicators that provide the world’s most comprehensive ranking of global maturity among Shenzhen companies. Through this set of targeted, yet holistic, indicators about Shenzhen’s top innovators and fastest-growing players, the index’s goal is to provide an actionable resource for understanding Shenzhen’s economic and entrepreneurial landscape.
During her talk, Marisa Drew reflected on her first time in Shenzhen. “I had very much the feeling I was in Silicon Valley. The energy and brilliance were astounding,” she remembered. However, Drew pointed out the explosive growth potential of Shenzhen is limited unless it develops a more mature global sensibility.
“The biggest issue for young growing companies is having a vision limited by geographic location or their own verticals. They will miss a major market, a partner, or a disruptive force if we don’t have a global awareness that those risks exist,” said Drew.
Yet speakers were optimistic that Shenzhen would rise to the challenge and rise from being a regional economic leader, to become a global pacesetter.
“Let’s let Shenzhen become, once again, the city for China’s second opening and reform,” said Wang Shi, the chairman of Vanke, one of China’s largest real estate companies.
Later in the evening, the China Globalization Forum featured panels with some of the leading entrepreneurs and visionaries behind the companies chosen by the Shenzhen 100 index. They discussed best global practices and challenges faced by young companies looking to grow an international consumer base.
Shenzhen provides an attractive and supportive environment for these young, but fast-growing, companies.
“We saw Shenzhen as the future in technology development,” said Dr. Huang Yuanhao, the Founder and CEO of the 3D sensor company Orbecc, which has decided to headquarter itself in Shenzhen. “The support of the Shenzhen government shows that it supports progress and development of an industry ecosystem.”
“China is now going through its third, and most difficult, wave of globalization,” said Wang Huiyao, Counselor of State Council and founder and president of the Center for China Globalization, in his remarks. First, China globalized its manufactured goods; second, it began globalizing its capital and capital investments. The third wave of globalization requires China’s human talent and people to become more globally attuned and globally trained.
The past thirty years have been good to Shenzhen, but what do the next thirty hold? China’s leaders now face the daunting task of continuing to grow and cultivate China’s economy at the breakneck pace its citizens – and the rest of the world – have gotten used to. Shenzhen, with its forward-thinking policies and wealth of human talent, may be the world’s best hope, not just China’s.