Top-level delegation going to Davos forum

Updated: 2015-01-14 07:57

By Mo Jingxi and Zhao Yinan(China Daily)

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China will send its highest-level delegation since 2009 to Davos, Switzerland, to attend the annual World Economic Forum as part of its effort to boost its presence in global affairs and woo international investors amid an economic downturn.

Premier Li Keqiang will be in Davos for the forum from Jan 20 to 22, a Foreign Ministry spokesman announced on Tuesday.

Li will deliver a speech and meet with representatives of the International Business Council. He will also meet Klaus Schwab, chairman of the forum, spokesman Hong Lei said at a daily news briefing.

According to Hong, the Chinese premier will elaborate upon his views on global affairs and introduce China's economic situation, including measures on deepening reform.

Li will be the first premier to attend the annual economic meeting since 2009, when former premier Wen Jiabao visited Davos weeks after he greenlighted China's 4 trillion yuan ($640 billion) stimulus to counter the global crisis.

"At the start of a crucial year for China's reform, the forum offers China a good opportunity to make its voice heard on a global stage," said Chen Fengying, director of the World Economy Institute at China's Institute of Contemporary International Relations, a foreign policy think tank.

"Li bears great responsibility in answering the world's questions concerning China's development. The international community is keenly interested in China's ongoing reforms, both economically and diplomatically," she said.

The forum, which is scheduled to run from Jan 21 to 24, will draw more than 300 heads of state and other government leaders, along with 1,500 business leaders from more than 140 countries.

"Global investors and analysts have different predictions for the economic performance of China, and the world, in 2015. China should take advantage of the forum and make the rest of the world know and understand its future plans," Chen said.

The International Monetary Fund predicted that China's growth would slow to 7.1 percent in 2015.

According to Hong, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, Li will also pay a working visit to Switzerland, where he will meet Swiss Confederation President Simonetta Sommaruga.

They will discuss bilateral cooperation on free trade and finance and exchange views on international and regional issues of common concern.

The visit coincides with the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Switzerland.

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(China Daily 01/14/2015 page3)