Davos forum debates China's prominent role

10:06, January 28, 2011      

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By Yu Miao

The 41st World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, kicked off Wednesday with delegates gathering to try and paint a comprehensive picture of the post-crisis world they now inhabit.

One of the main topics of debate is who the principal artists of this new fresco will be: the established schools of the US and Europe, or the innovative movements of the emerging world, coming from China, India and Brazil.

As these "new realities" are being discussed, cautious optimism has dominated the meeting so far, as many officials feel it is high time to look beyond the crisis and establish guidelines as global economic power shifts from West to East, as suggested by Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the WEF.

Looking at China's place in this new reality, almost half of the 1,201 CEOs of international firms polled by PricewaterhouseCoopers claimed they were "very confident" about China's growth in the 12 months to come.

China topped the poll of business leaders, with 39 percent voting it the world's No. 1 growth engine, followed by the US with 21 percent, Brazil on 19 percent and India on 18 percent, according to the consultancy's Annual Global CEO Survey published Wednesday before the WEF began.

Arturo Bris, professor of finance at the IMD Business School in Lausanne, told the AP that China-watchers would be analyzing comments by a host of Chinese business leaders for insights into that nation's economy and future plans.

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