Innovation is key theme at China's 'Summer Davos', where Premier Li Keqiang talks financial system reformation
- 01 October 2013
Changhua Wu, Greater China Director, The Climate Group, writes about her experiences at the Annual Meeting of the New Champions, also known as Summer Davos, in Dalian, China.
Summer Davos took place from September 11-13 in Dalian this year, where I participated on behalf of The Climate Group China. The summit has been held yearly since 2007 and focuses on current topics around economic development. This year was the first year after China's new government was appointed, so it was very important for all participants involved. But differing from previous discussion on economic growth, this year's central theme was 'Innovation: Imperative'.
Today’s China is facing a big transition period from the Planned Economy to a Market Economy - and from the Second Industrial Revolution to the Third Industrial Revolution - so innovation is inevitable. But not only in the technology sector.
Innovation is also key in considering the integration of policy, institution and management, by using the comprehensive, systematic and unified concept of reformation. During the summit, China’s Premier Li Keqiang gave a speech on the financial system reformation, which was very warmly received by the audience. Some attending scholars said the speech showed the Permier's thinking on the international and domestic economic situation, as well as his thoughts on gaps and chances for development.
The summit then featured a series of interactive discussions focusing on energy security, investment environment, intelligent development and most importantly, innovation uses in economics. During the energy security discussion, relevant speakers further clarified China’s dependence on the world’s resources, which is an inevitable stage in economic growth. Use and development of renewable energy was highlighted as extremely important as it brings huge innovation in both tech and policy.
Unlike other more environment-focused discussions, during the financial investment environment seminars, sustainability wasn't discussed in-depth. More focus was on resource and energy dependence, especially energy “continentalism”, ie. shifting the emphasis to Central Asia and the Middle East. However, it was noted that the US shale gas application will have a profound impact on global energy trade.
The last day of the summit was about innovation in economics. Here it was said that the recent investment withdrawal of the GM in the UK was caused by a lack of motivation in the region's green industry. Compared to this, China seems very promising. Meanwhile, much attention was given to the fact that Denmark has become the largest provider of clean technology in China, which I personally welcome.
Looking further across the seas, it was mentioned that American suburbanization has proven to be a large-scale platform in technology integration, offering tremendous opportunities in the domestic market.
Many attending participators agreed clean energy will be the next most important economic driving force, and will bring great application and development in sectors such as electronic communication. They concluded that today China is confronted with rapid urbanization which will bring many opportunities for clean and smart technology applications.
I learned a lot from this summit, but another thing I noticed was that many media companies were interested in the ten air pollution prevention and control measurements; I was interviewed by the CNBC Africa television, China Network, Dalian TV and CCTV China television financial program, answering questions on air quality, resources and other environmental issues.
Let's hope that media keeps covering sustainability to encourage more and more people to understand and act on its importance - especially our next young generations who must live in the world we leave them.
By Rui Hao