Business and social issues facing the mainland and the world was the topic of discussion at the prestigious gathering of top international business leaders and think tanks in South China's Guangdong Province recently.
The Shantou Dialogue, the first of its kind in Guangdong, was co-organized by the Li Ka Shing Foundation and the Shantou University and held on the university campus. The Hong Kong-based Li Ka Shing Foundation, one of the leading in the world, supports medical, educational, cultural and community welfare projects.
Subjects such as creativity, sustainability and corporate social responsibility were discussed by luminaries, including Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz, Skype co-founder Geoffery Prentice and former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell. Representatives of the China Institute for International Strategic Studies, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the UK-based Chatham House were some of the another leading lights at the dialogue.
"If, as many people believe, the 21st century belongs to China, then it makes sense for a global summit of think tanks to be held in the country," Cheung Kong Centre for Creative Industries consultant Patrick Mok said.
The Shantou Dialogue was a unique opportunity for some international leaders to share their knowledge with their mainland counterparts, and to establish a platform that would create a united body of thought on some of the most important issues that the global economy is likely to confront in future, Mok said.
Dean of Shantou University's Cheung Kong School of Journalism Chan Yuen-ying said the dialogue was set to become an annual event.
"From next year, the event will see discussions on economic and social issues, particularly those facing Guangdong, an economic powerhouse of the mainland," Chan said.
"The idea is to make the gathering an important annual event that identifies key areas in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region for common exploration between mainland think tanks and research institutes and their counterparts from across the world."
Guangdong government officials will be invited to the event, too, to discuss issues with international think tanks, and they could include social security and environmental protection in the PRD region.
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