The 7th Reception of the St. Gallen Symposium in Beijing

For the 7th consecutive time, the Swiss Embassy proudly hosts the St. Gallen Symposium Beijing Reception, where business leaders of today and tomorrow come together and discuss challenging topics. The Symposium itself is an exclusive image that St. Gallen projects around the world. The fact that it is completely student-driven makes it even more remarkable. Yet the admiration for this drive forward goes well beyond the consistency of the Symposium in terms of numbers. It is a result of a spirit of creativity, a pioneering mindset and a strong wish to go further. Keeping the best practices requires creativity, innovation and a constant self-assessment to see where one stands. “Growth – the good, the bad and the ugly,” this year’s topic at the Symposium, certainly reflects this approach.

7th stgallen articleModerated by Mr. ZOU Yue, Head of Anchors Team at CCTV International, the distinguished panelists are led through a discussion with a special focus on economic growth and all its characteristics. Whereas experienced business leaders tend to look at growth from a very pragmatic point of view, the younger generation is more concerned with philosophic aspects of growth. What is growth – GDP growth to be specific – actually measuring? Should we only take economic growth into consideration? What impacts does it have on social stability, health, happiness or sustainability? How do we maintain growth and where will future growth come from? As China is experiencing an economic slowdown, these fundamental questions become even more important.

Among the panelists were:

  • Leslie MAASDORP, Vice President of the New Development Bank BRICS
  • CHEN Hong, Founder and CEO of The Hina Group
  • WANG Ninie, Founder and CEO of Pinetree Senior Care Services
  • Bernhard SCHWARTLÄNDER, WHO China Representative

Irrespectively how widely the opinions among speakers and participants differed from each other, they all agreed on one point: China is reaching out. Chinese politicians and business leaders want to be seen globally and act differently. They join the tables with decision makers, but also take actions to redefine rules and ultimately China as a responsible, innovative global player beyond economic growth.  Visionary entrepreneurs in China are already trying to address and maintain sustainable growth with “good” GDP.

– Contributed by Marcel Schneider,  Attaché of Science, Technology and Education Section, Embassy of Switzerland in Beijing