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Despite continuous double-digit growth in 2010, the booming Chinese economy faces increasing structural and institutional challenges, due to the export- and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)-led growth model as well as global financial instability. During the Twelfth Five-Year Plan (2011-2015), China aims to implement second-generation economic reform strategies to address the rising inequality and focus on sustainable development. The country needs to tackle multifaceted yet interconnected challenges, including boosting domestic consumption, curbing an overheated real estate market, prioritizing more balanced wealth distribution, adjusting industry structures to high value-added sectors, managing international pressure to appreciate its currency and improving social security. While China has emerged as a leading global player, it needs to further engage in effective dialogues with the rest of the world, so as to enhance mutual understanding and collective problem-solving

The Global Agenda Council on China (the Council) has focused its work on areas where the Council will have a tangible impact on policy-making in China. The Council management consulted the National Development and Reform Committee (NDRC) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the Forum’s two big government partners in China, to determine three specific dimensions to be covered in the annual report. In order to ensure a more efficient and effective discussion among Council members, Council members were divided into three sub-groups, led by three pairs of sub-group discussion leaders. The discussion leaders were responsible for completing a write-up on respective dimensions, after two virtual meeting and the Summit on the Global Agenda 2011 in Abu Dhabi. The annual report, therefore, consists of three independent yet interconnected sections.

  • Geopolitical/Regional Cooperative Competition — Discussion Leaders: Amb. He Yafei and Professor Kishore Mahbubani. Sub-group members: Professor Yan Xuetong, Dr. Zhou Hanmin, Professor Jean-Pierre Lehmann. The subgroup subsequently decided to focus further on China’s Perspectives on Trans-Pacific Partnership.
  • Implications of China’s Going Out Strategy (outbound FDI, transparency and practice) — Discussion Leaders: Mr. Levin Zhu and Professor Peter Nolan. Sub-group members: Mr. Zhu Min, Mr. Dominic Barton, Mr. Jonathan Anderson, Mr. Fang Xinghai, Mr. David Schlesinger, Mr. Wang Boming, Ms. Katherine Tsang. The subgroup concentrated its write-up on analyzing the current status quo of Chinese companies in the global context.
  • Civil Society, Innovation and Entrepreneur Eco-System — Discussion Leaders: Mr. Lee Kaifu and Ms. Elizabeth Economy. Sub-group members: Mr. Zhou Hanmin, Professor Chan Yuenying (Chair of the Global Agenda Council on Informed Society), Ms. Wang Lifen (member of The Global Agenda Council on Media, Entertainment and Information), Mr. Chen Hongbo (member of Global Agenda Council on Fostering Entrepreneurship), Professor Jean-Pierre Lehmann. The subgroup successfully delivered a number of concrete recommendations on how to foster innovation by enhancing education models, to build a unique eco-system for local entrepreneurs, as well as to empower civil society and rule of law.

The Council management believes that the Council output should enhance the visibility of both Council members and activities to the general public. Hence the Council management will not only submit the annual report to the Forum’s government partners in China, but will also evaluate means of increasing media exposure in China by leveraging the Forum’s strong media connections and government partnership.


The opinions expressed here are those of the individual members of the Council and not of the World Economic Forum or any institutions to which they are affiliated.