Global Cooperation

How China can enhance collaboration by rebuilding trust

People arriving at the Forbidden City in Beijing, China:  On major issues concerning the future of humanity, China’s involvement is indispensable.

On major issues concerning the future of humanity, China’s involvement is indispensable. Image: Unsplash/Ling Tang

Liming Chen
Chair of Greater China; Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum
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Global Cooperation

This article is part of: World Economic Forum Annual Meeting
  • Despite slow global economic growth, China’s economy is accelerating and represents a key global player to ensure stability in a fragmented world.
  • The World Economic Forum seeks to deepen cooperation with China around three key areas: enhanced East-West dialogue, private sector cooperation and insights to solve shared problems.
  • The Chinese delegation attending the Forum's Annual Meeting 2024 in Davos, Switzerland, has returned to pre-pandemic size to participate across sessions, amplifying China’s voice.

In 2024, the world seeks stability amid uncertainty. According to predictions from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, global economic growth will slow down to 2.7% this year, becoming the lowest natural year for global economic growth since 2020.

The world has emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic but faces uncertainty about the next one. Climate change poses an increasing threat to public health and new technologies call for an urgent improvement of the technology governance system. Meanwhile, the ongoing situation in the Middle East and the protracted Ukraine war, among other humanitarian crises, show a fragmented world.

How we respond to these challenges will largely determine the fate of humanity. How China acts now can ensure stability and progress in the years to come and ensuring trust has never been more important.

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With China’s economic growth in the third quarter faster than expected, the International Monetary Fund has raised its forecast for China’s economic growth in 2024. China-US relations show signs of warmth and the East Asian nation is expected to continue to be the recovery driver of emerging markets. The government has introduced policies to promote the development of the private economy and encourage foreign investment – the key lies in implementing them to benefit the national economy and people’s livelihood.

For over 50 years, the World Economic Forum has gathered stakeholders to provide platforms for fair and equal dialogue. Convening under the theme of “Rebuilding Trust,” Davos 2024, this year’s Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, is organized around four main areas:

  • Achieving security and cooperation in a fractured world.
  • Creating growth and jobs for a new era.
  • Artificial intelligence as a driving force for the economy and society.
  • A long-term strategy for climate, nature and energy.

China is a crucial participant in global affairs, and the Forum hopes to deepen its cooperation to facilitate rebuilding trust in three key areas.

New eras of cooperation

First, East-West dialogue is critical. As the world’s second-largest economy, China plays an essential role in various fields, including global politics, economics and scientific and technological innovation. As the global governance system is undergoing profound changes, China is transitioning from a follower to one of its defining forces.

The Forum is committed to serving as a bridge between the East and West, deepening mutual understanding, accelerating cooperation, enhancing dialogues, and avoiding misjudgement, barriers and collisions.

Second, there is a need for increased public-private cooperation. Trust is the basis for interactions between countries, people, institutions and enterprises. To achieve mutual benefit towards a shared future for China and the world, the Forum works with governments, businesses, academia and civil society to promote cooperation between public and private sectors, gathering support from all sides on Forum initiatives launched in China.

Finally, China can contribute its insights to solving shared problems. Humanity faces a series of common challenges that no single country or international organization can address or tackle alone. China plays a leading role in many fields, with hydropower capacity, wind power and solar power generation ranked first in the world. China has also included low-carbon energy transition as a rigid target in the 14th five-year plan. On major issues concerning the future of humanity, China’s involvement is indispensable.

Trust fosters collaboration and dialogue leads to win-win results.

Liming Chen, Chair of Greater China and Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum

The Chinese delegation attending Davos 2024 has returned to its pre-pandemic size. They will have the chance to participate in sessions on various critical global issues, making China’s voice heard on the international platform and sending a signal of openness and cooperation.

The Forum serves as a window for China to understand the world and the world to understand China, exploring new areas of cooperation. When the Chinese delegation first arrived in Davos to attend the Annual Meeting in 1979, the country accounted for only 2% of the global gross domestic product.

Now, that figure is approaching 20%. Chinese stakeholders are increasingly actively utilizing the Forum’s platform to exchange with global business leaders, academia and civil society.

Trust fosters collaboration and dialogue leads to win-win results. We look forward to discussing with leaders from various sectors at Davos 2024 how, through rebuilding trust, we can contribute to improving the state of the world.

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The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

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