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Global Forum for Fortune 500 and SME Cooperation 2016 Held in Shanghai

Hosted by Western Returned Scholars Association, China International Council for the Promotion of Multinational Corporations, Global Alliance of SMEs, Shanghai Association of Enterprises, Western Returned Scholars Foundation, Global Times, Beijing Huaxia Management College, and CRI online, Global Forum for Fortune 500 and SME Cooperation 2016 was held in Shanghai on September 13th, 2016.

The theme of this forum is: To build a platform for reciprocal cooperation between MNCs and SMEs.

Distinguished guests to this forum include: Mr. Christian Wulff, Global Chairman of GASME and Former President of Germany, Mr. Li Chunjiang, President of the Western Returned Scholars Foundation, Mr. Liu Zhenyuan, former deputy mayor of Shanghai and honorary chairman of the China Federation of Free Trade Zones, Mr. Ulrich Grillo, President of the Federation of German Industries, Mr. Jean-Baptiste Natama, Former Chief of Staff of the African Union Commission, Mr. Stephen Wozniak, Co-Founder of Apple Computer, Mr. Hermann Simon, World-renowned Expert in Management and Father of the “Hidden Champions” Theory, Mr. He Weiwen, Vice Director of Center for China and Globalization and former Economic and Commercial Counselor of Consulate-General of the P.R. China in San Francisco and New York, Mr. Martin Richenhagen, President and CEO of AGCO Corporation, Ms. Xia Hua, Chairwoman of Eve Group, Mr. Frank Cao, Secretary-General of GASME and China Affairs Advisor of Mr. Christian Wulff, and Mr. Ma Jun, Vice President of China International Council for the Promotion of Multinational Corporations and Chairman of China Enterprise Confederation.

As the great engine of the world economy and the main carrier of globalization, multinational companies are an important driving force for deepening the economic globalization and building a new open economic pattern. SMEs also play a significant role in the economy and society throughout the world. SMEs closely influence the economic vitality and strength of a nation. Only with a sound development of SMEs can the world economy achieve a continuous, steady and healthy development. Every multinational company is a combination of SMEs. Therefore, the integration of multinationals and SMEs is a trend for future development. The implementation of the Belt and Road initiative requires the common participation of multinationals and SMEs.

Mr. Wulff pointed out in his keynote speech that both Germany and China enjoyed long history and bright future, thus bringing about tremendous business opportunities. The Belt and Road initiative not only linked Europe and China, but also provided numerous business opportunities for African countries. China would have made such brilliant achievements over the past three decades without cooperation. Hopefully, the “Belt and Road” initiative would make China and Europe closer with strengthened cooperation. Only with close cooperation between SMEs and large corporations could both achieve great success. Mr. Wulff believed that companies from the two countries could create more business opportunities for cooperation and thus make greater contributions to the world economy by learning from each other and carrying out reciprocal cooperation based on comprehensive cooperation between “German Industry 4.0” and “Made in China 2025”.

Regarding this forum, Mr. Li Chunjiang stressed that: we launched this Forum together with GASME in order to explore the best way of cooperation between multinationals and SMEs. I believe that with this platform and through face-to-face dialogues, SMEs are able to make their voices heard and also listen to voices from the world. I am also firmly convinced that our pleasant and practical cooperation will build a broader path for the sound and sustainable development of enterprises.

Mr. Liu Zhenyuan indicated that the establishment of Shanghai Free Trade Zone on September 29th, 2013 was a natural trend of the global economic and trade development and a significant move to realize a more active development strategy. GASME also had the mission of building a global SME collaboration platform for a greater future and actively promoting the bilateral and multilateral cooperation among SMEs. Through this forum, multiple world leaders, renowned scholars and famous international corporate CEOs shared their state-of-the-art ideas and insights with Chinese entrepreneurs, exploring the important trend of economic globalization and the future of SMEs.

Mr. Grillo shared his observation of China’s development and pointed out that China was at a key crossroad of transformation from investment-oriented economy to an internal demand-driven and innovation-driven economy. This transformation was a great challenge to both decision-makers and Chinese enterprises. Mr. Grillo believed that to a large extent, China’s successful transformation would depend on the SME development, entrepreneurship and innovation of Chinese start-ups and entrepreneurs. The competition among German companies was never about prices. Instead, what really mattered was quality. Both China and Germany had SMEs as their backbones. German success could serve as an example for Chinese SMEs.

Talking about Africa with a typical impression of poverty and under-development, Mr. Natama argued that it was actually the richest continent in the world, which should not be neglected any more. Africa, with its rich resources, is always an important strategic partner to the whole world. Thus, all the other countries should join hands with Africa and think about how to make the most of advantages in Africa. SMEs account for 80% of the total economic activities in Africa. Thus, huge opportunities lie in cooperation. With close cooperation, the world is bound to be more prosperous.

Mr. Stephen Wozniak stressed in his speech that education could help us solve highly complex problems and challenges. Our biggest and also the most precious asset was our brain. Machines were the invention of our brain. This world required good inventors. With strong interest and whole dedication, anyone could be a good inventor and every minute of your work counted.

Regarding the future, Mr. Simon predicted two tiers of countries by 2030: the first tier included the US, China and Europe, accounting for 60% of the total economic volume, and the other tier included all the rest countries. Globalization would become an important driver of growth in the future. By 2030, China, America and Europe would become three important influential pillars in the world economy. Africa would also play an increasingly important role with an increasing population. To succeed in the future globalization, three elements were crucial: innovation, production basis and the efficiency of productivity.

Prof. Martin Richenhagen, Chairman, President & CEO of AGCO Corporation said in his speech that “In this world of ever-more urbanization and industrialization, I’m here to talk about agriculture. A $4.80 hamburger involves over 75 agricultural activities! Today, under half of Chinese agriculture is mechanized. By 2020, that is predicted to rise to 70%. Currently, In China, rapid urbanisation and an ageing population means that food production has to rely on fewer and younger farmers. They need to adopt new systems rapidly.”

To promote the implementation of the Belt and Road initiative, GASME launched the White Paper on Business Opportunities and Investment Risks Along the Belt and Road. Mr. He Weiwen emphasized the tremendous progress made beyond all recognition since the initiative was put forward three years ago by President Xi Jinping. Over the past three years, China have signed contracts with more than 30 countries, signed over 20 agreements on capacity cooperation, and established 46 overseas industrial parks. China’s Belt and Road Initiative has met with firm support and active participation from over sixty countries along the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. The White Paper will effectively help Chinese enterprises to solve problems in their global development, such as difficulties of accessing information, difficulties of international financing and preventions of unknown risks.

The Global Alliance of Business Organizations (GABO) was officially launched at this forum, declared by Mr. Wulff, Mr. Frank Cao, Mr. He Weiwen and other distinguished guests. GABO plans to engage at least 1,000 prominent business organizations from 237 countries and regions so as to build the “United Nations” of SMEs.

This forum is organized by GASME Yangtze River Delta South Service Center, GASME Center for World Economic Studies, SME Development Special Fund of Western Returned Scholars Foundation, and Chun’an (Thousand-Island Lake) Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Wulff delivered a speech

Mr. Wulff dialogued with entrepreneurs

Mr. Li Chunjiang delivered a speech

Mr. Liu Zhenyuan delivered a speech

Mr. Grillo delivered a speech

Mr. Natama delivered a speech

Mr. Wozniak delivered a speech

Mr. Wozniak dialogued with entrepreneurs

Mr. Simon delivered a speech

Mr. Richenhagen delivered a speech

Ms. Xia Hua delivered a speech

Mr. He Weiwen delivered a speech

Launch ceremony of the Global Alliance of Business Organizations

Charity Banquet