Representatives sign agreement of cooperation at an event to promote the 2017 Fortune Global Forum, which is to be held in Chinese city of Guangzhou in early December, in Silicon Valley, the United States, Sept. 21, 2017. (Xinhua/Ma Dan)
SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- Officials from Guangzhou, the provincial capital of Guangdong, were in the San Francisco Bay Area to promote their city's plans to host two Fortune events later in the year.
Cai Chaolin, head of a task force from Guangzhou for the 2017 Fortune Global Forum, invited business leaders and innovators of the San Francisco Bay Area to the forum as well as to the Fortune Brainstorm Tech International.
The Fortune Brainstorm Tech is scheduled for December 5-6 and the Global Forum for December 6-8.
In Palo Alto and San Francisco, Cai and other representatives from Guangzhou, including some business executives from the city, engaged their local counterparts and talked about their perspectives on working together in the future.
It was the fourth and the last stop of the task force's U.S. tour, after New York, Washington D.C. and Chicago earlier this year, and the 13th stop of its international tour to promote Guangzhou as "a hotspot for entrepreneurship."
About his stay in the Bay Area, Cai told reporters "the last (stop in the United States) is the most important," as the officials and business executives on his team have gained insight from their local hosts and confidence in their own undertaking.
"Guangzhou stands at the forefront of China's opening up and development, and technological innovation is one of the three core pillars driving us forward as a progressive city and leading business center in China," said the Guangzhou Fortune Global Forum executive committee director.
Projected to be "an innovation hub" by Cai, Guangzhou is a mega coastal city currently with a population of 16 million people and a history of more than 1,000 years. It registered a gross domestic product (GDP) equivalent of 284 billion U.S. dollars in 2016 and embraced 2,820 new technology companies, including startups, from 2015 to 2016.
According to the city officials, by early September, nearly 140 of the Fortune 500 big companies around the world have confirmed representatives for the 2017 Fortune Global Forum.
Echoing the optimism, Fortune, a business magazine owned by Time Inc., said some of the world's most prominent business leaders will speak at the 2017 Fortune Global Forum and for the inaugural Fortune Brainstorm Tech International.
Confirmed speakers for the Fortune forum include Alibaba Executive Chairman Jack Ma, Baidu chief executive office (CEO) Robin Li, Foxconn CEO Terry Gou, Huawei Rotating CEO Ken Hu, Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing, and Tencent CEO Pony Ma.
Additional speakers at the three-day event will be Atlantis Investment Management Group Chairwoman Yang Liu, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins, DreamWorks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg, HSBC Group CEO Stuart Gulliver, Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky, Neusoft CEO Liu Jiren, Ofo CEO Dai Wei, Royal Philips CEO Frans van Houten, Tata Sons Chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran, and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Walmart Chairman Greg Penner.
As a new conference, Fortune Brainstorm Tech International will explore the innovation revolution unfolding in China, including homegrown innovation and mass implementation in fields such as artificial intelligence, social media, biotech, FinTech, virtual reality, automotive, the sharing economy, and mobile platforms.
Early confirmed speakers for the two-day brainstorm include Airbnb co-founder Nate Blecharczyk, China Renaissance CEO Fan Bao, CreditEase CEO Tang Ning, DJI President Roger Luo, Mobike CEO Davis Wang, Mobvoi CEO Zhifei Li, Payoneer CEO Scott Galit, Samsung Electronics America chief marketing officer Marc Mathieu, Shunwei Capital CEO Tuck Lye Koh, Vipkid CEO Cindy Mi.
"We're excited to bring together the world's top business and technology leaders at this crucial time of change in China and in the global economy," said Time Inc. Chief Content Officer Alan Murray upon releasing the lists.
Murray told Xinhua that the two events "will allow us to address two of the world's most important issues that any global business has to be thinking about today: one is in the age of (U.S. President Donald) Trump and Brexit and rising nationalism around the world -- what's the future of globalization; and two is at a time when technology is transforming every aspect of every company in every industry, what kind of innovation is happening in China now that global businesses need to be aware of."
Murray too believes that Guangzhou is the perfect place to host the forums. He said the city has been a center for global commerce for centuries, and Guangdong as a province "is increasingly the center for some of the most interesting innovation in China."