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Asian Enterprise of Tomorrow Conference Gathers Wisdom for Entrepreneurship

By JAMES ALEXANDERICHONGQING|May 25,2021

Chongqing- On conclusion of the 2021 Asian Enterprise of Tomorrow Conference (AEOT) held under the banner of the 3rd Western China International Fair for Investment and Trade (WCIFIT), over 200 Asian corporate executives focused on the theme of Facing Challenges and Fostering Innovation to discuss the opportunities and challenges lying ahead for Asian companies.

The 2021 AEOT was held on May 21st  in southwestern China’s Chongqing Municipality as an important event of WCIFIT. Invitations were extended to Asian politicians, World Fortune 500 company executives, famous Chinese and Asian entrepreneurs, academics, media, and guests from China and abroad who met for discussion and exchange.

Former South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon, Vanke Group Founder and Honorary Chairman of the Board of Directors Wang Shi, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation Vice President Li Lei, Chongqing Sokon Group Founder Zhang Xinghai, and 22 other high profile guests conducted keynote speeches and roundtable discussions on and offline, centered around the theme of Creating Impossible Realities.

Promote exchange and cooperation 

Former Prime Minister of South Korea and Democratic Party of Korea senator Lee Nak-yeon sent a congratulatory video message to the Asian Enterprise of Tomorrow Conference from Seoul, South Korea.

‘When I visited Chongqing two years ago, I deeply sensed the city’s deep vitality and development potential, which has proven to be correct. Today, Chongqing has made dazzling achievements, and I hope to take advantage of the Asian Enterprise of Tomorrow Conference as a platform for more active exchange and cooperation between Asian companies.’

AEOT

The former prime minister of South Korea, Lee Nak-yeon, addressed the AEOT opening ceremony by video message to congratulate the event and express his strong optimism for future development in Western China.

Wang Shi, the founder of Vanke Group and honorary chairman of the board of directors, explained the significant influence of Asian culture in corporate life, emphasized the leading role of entrepreneurship in the growth of enterprises, and called on entrepreneurs to play a leading role in assuming social responsibilities.

AEOT

Vanke founder Wang Shi addressed the live audience to emphasize the importance of entrepreneurship and social responsibility.

Li Lei, vice president of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, stated in his opening speech that it would take time to achieve a complete reversal of the epidemic, that momentum in economic recovery and growth still needs consolidation, and that flexibility and resilience in global production and supply chains are facing a multitude of challenges ahead.

‘However, while I do believe the entire manufacturing sector has encountered a storm, there is yet stability in the economy which is providing employment opportunities.’

AEOT

Li Lei, vice president of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, stated in his opening speech that it would take time to reverse the epidemic successfully.

Four principal themes 

This conference has brought together Asian wisdom as corporate executives from the region were invited to share their international perspectives, with a focus on the four main themes of Asian Opportunities Shared Globally, New Industrial Opportunities in the Pandemic Context, Responsibility for Emission Reductions, and Green Manufacturing, and Chongqing: International Logistics Hub and New Space for Development.

While the volume of global foreign direct investment plummeted by 42% last year, overall performance in the Asian region was better than expected. Foreign direct investment in China has increased by 4% to become the world’s largest recipient.

In the first live session, Xu Min, Managing Director of Citibank China and President of Personal Banking, Lin Shengcong, Managing Partner of DHR International Asia Pacific, and Wang Guan, host of CCTV CGTN, discussed how the government and central bank can restore market confidence and stimulate economic growth, and why the Asia region offers great development prospects for the global business community.

AEOT

Calvin Cheng, managing director of East-West Bank, took the stage to explain how a wealth of opportunities in the industry awaits the post-epidemic era.

As the global pandemic continues, there has been rapid development in the health industry and digital economy. As a result, many sectors in the industry present strong potential in consumer growth, from medical infrastructure to biopharmaceuticals.

Wang Jinhe, vice president of Johnson & Johnson Healthcare (China), Zheng Shiwei, managing director of East-West Bank, and Dr. Howard Chan, vice president of Raffles Hospital, attended the event in person to share their insights.

Calvin Cheng, managing director of East-West Bank, stated that telemedicine, diagnosis, biomedicine, and other fields are full of opportunities following the epidemic. He pointed out that medicine should be combined with online and offline medical services. Many innovative entrepreneurs are combining online and offline medical services to provide comprehensive solutions. In the future, medical services should be more convenient and have more information technology support.

AEOT

Expert panels conducted online discussions to analyze the prospects for Asian business in the western region.

Seong Jeongmin, a partner of McKinsey Global Institute, William Bao Bean, partner of Silicon Valley Ventures, and Tang Xianhui, executive director of SGInnovate, stated in an online discussion that as China gradually becomes a cashless society, huge development opportunities have been created in the fields of e-commerce and digital finance, which possess strong reference value for Asian countries.

Tang Xianhui stated, ‘Should polarization in technology become the norm over the next 5-10 years, then I believe some companies can leapfrog in terms of development, especially Chinese companies in the field of microchips, where the use of new technologies can allow them a fast lane to overtake competitors.

Manufacturing is one of the largest global greenhouse gas emissions sources, and new industrial technologies such as 5G and robotics are set to reshape the global manufacturing landscape.

Li Shu, partner and co-head of Bain & Partners Greater China, Si Han, president of the Global Association for Mobile Communications Systems, and Raymond Fung, founder, and managing partner of Asahi Capital, stated in the online discussion session that China has the largest mobile communications market worldwide and that users are a factor driving technological development, such as the swift rollout of 5G in China.

We see that mobile operators are also paying attention to emission cuts because the energy consumption of 5G is high, and operators must take action. Fortunately, leading mobile operators are all leading companies in this cause, as the mobile industry must deliver on the promise to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Zhang Xinghai, the founder of Chongqing SOKON Industry Group, stated in a live discussion with Jin Hankun, plant manager of Hyundai Motor Chongqing, that SOKON Group invests more than 10% of sales revenue every year, develops smart electric vehicles from a high starting point, and fosters core technologies on a par with TESLA such as electronic controls and transmission. These have formed a differentiated range of smart technology in line with national requirements in China.

Under the continuous guidance of national policies, Chinese manufacturers are also transforming traditional models to sustainable green production. This transition has been most obvious in the automotive industry. At present, China is the largest market for new energy vehicles, while the quality of such vehicles manufactured domestically occupies a leading position in the world.

AEOT

President of Doosan Lee Hocheol addresses the AEOT conference online to share his vision for Asian enterprise in China’s western region.

Chongqing-an international logistics hub 

The pandemic has taken a toll on global aviation, and sea cargo as the number of services has decreased. However, this has meant that the China-Europe Railway Express in Chongqing has come to fill the void left by grounded aircraft and fewer cargo ships running. In addition, the International Land-Sea Trade Corridor connecting inland China with other countries has created a profound impact on the supply chain.

Sun Xiyong, deputy director of the Chongqing Sino-Singapore Strategic Connectivity Management Bureau, introduced in a live discussion that construction of the International Land-Sea Trade Corridor began in 2016 and entered preliminary application in 2017.

In less than 4 years of operation, it has become a national strategy and a linkage point for Asia-Europe through the Belt and Road Initiative and provides vital support for the promotion of regional economic development.

Wang Yupei, chairman of the International Land-Sea Trade Corridor operating company, described how Chongqing is pioneering in constructing dry ports.

AEOT

Wang Yupei, chairman of the International Land-Sea Trade Corridor operating company, described how Chongqing is pioneering in constructing dry ports.

The National Development and Reform Commission clearly stated in the Master Plan for the Western Land-Sea Trade Corridor that it supports the construction of Chongqing as an inland international logistics distribution center, which will serve to enhance the city’s functions as a base for international logistics distribution, storage, distribution, and trans-shipment.

In order to achieve this objective, the Chongqing International Logistics Hub Park is exploring the construction of the first dry port in the New Land-Sea Trade Corridor.

When the Chongqing Dry Port is put into commercial operations, it will become an international logistics distribution center integrating logistics, trade, industry, and finance, which will service and promote the four-way channels heading north, east, south, and west by rail, air, and water channels, thus achieving the integrated development of intermodal transportation.

Inland distribution and distribution capabilities are to be improved, and port functions to be extended into the interior. In addition, innovation will be explored in financial supervision and futures delivery. This will guide further distribution and financial settlements towards Chongqing, thus moving traditional port distribution away to distribution from the interior heartland.

John W. Dietrich, President and CEO of Atlas Air, stated online that the pandemic had brought unprecedented challenges to the aviation industry. In order to overcome this crisis, the company must first thank all employees for their perseverance. At the same time, the support of the government in tax relief and exemptions has also proven essential.

He stated, ‘China has shown great responsibility in response to challenges posed by the pandemic through effective control measures. I am grateful to China for its dedication and efforts.’

Optimistic about the 2021 economy

Additionally, Yu Bo, a business consulting lead partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers, released a global and Chinese CEO survey report at the conference.

A questionnaire survey of 1,800 CEOs in 100 countries and regions has shown that optimism about the global economic outlook has reached a record level, as 76% of respondents believe the economy will improve in 2021.

Optimism on the part of CEOs also extends to the performance of their respective companies. On a global level, 36% expressed confidence about revenue growth and development prospects in the next year. However, the survey has also shown that internet crises have become the main cause of sleepless nights, second only to the pandemic.

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Yu Bo, a business consulting lead partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers, released a global and Chinese CEO survey report at the conference.

 

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