Business representatives look forward to President Xi Jinping's keynote speech on Sunday at the BRICS Business Forum 2017, which serves as a critical avenue to voice opinions and suggestions on strengthening economic and trade ties among developing economies.
Scheduled to open on Sunday, the sideline forum to the BRICS Summit is also being attended by heads of state and government from Brazil, South Africa, Egypt and Guinea, said Jiang Zengwei, director of the forum's organizing committee and chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.
Country leaders will attend the event and deliver speeches or take part in discussions, all of which highlight the unprecedented attention to the role of the business community in charting a cooperative course on economic development, Jiang told a press conference on Saturday, prior to the meeting.
"This year's forum is unprecedented in scope and the profile of attendants as they attach such great importance to the business community … who help provide suggestions to policymaking for governments at the bilateral and multilateral level," he said.
The forum debuted in 2010 and acts as a fabric connecting enterprise executives as they discuss and debate hotspot economic issues not confined to the BRICS bloc (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), but around the world.
Some 1,200 people will join the forum, 1,069 of whom are senior executives of 630 companies from China and abroad. Among the foreign attendants, who represent half of all participants, 80 come from Fortune 500 companies across the United Kingdom, United States, France and Germany, in addition to those representing the BRICS countries.
They will embark on a two-day journey to explore market opportunities and provide insights on policy coordination in the areas of trade and investment, financial cooperation, interconnectivity and the blue economy - which banks on maritime resources to unlock development potential.
BRICS nations, all bellwethers of global trade and investment, constitute a major drive for economic growth. Together they contribute 50 percent of the world's GDP, with their share of investment and trade claiming, respectively, 12 percent and 16 percent of the world' s total, Jiang said.