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2019 Forbes China Leadership Summit: Showcasing Global Leadership

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2019 Forbes China Leadership Summit: Showcasing Global Leadership

October 25
22:33 2019

The Forbes China Leadership Summit was successfully held in the Chinese city of Qingdao in Shandong Province on October 19, 2019.

2019 Forbes China Leadership Summit

This event was a parallel panel of the Qingdao Multinationals Summit, which was hosted by the PRC Ministry of Commerce and the People’s Government of Shandong Province and organized by the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, the Department of Commerce of Shandong Province and the Qingdao Municipal People’s Government. 115 overseas Fortune Global 500 companies and 197 industry-leading enterprises were represented at the summit, which received over 500 guests.

Leveraging the resources of the Qingdao Multinationals Summit, the 2019 Forbes China Leadership Summit boosted a strong guest lineup including government representatives, Forbes executives, scholars, business leaders, and major media outlets.  

Centered around the theme “Establishing Global Leadership”, the leadership summit hosted discussions through activities such as opening addresses and speeches, roundtables, list overview and one-on-one dialogues with business leaders. The “Forbes China Lifetime Achievement Award” was also presented at the summit. 

Sherman Lee, Executive Director of Forbes Global Media Holding and CEO of Forbes China, delivering the opening address

In the opening address, Sherman Lee, Executive Director of Forbes Global Media Holding and CEO of Forbes China, talked about China’s role in the global economy. Globalization faces a complicated and constantly-changing environment, he said, China is an important driver of world economic growth, and the country has a responsibility in ensuring that globalization upholds fairness and justice and is realized in a healthy and orderly process. Over the past 40 years of reform and opening-up, multinational companies have made great contributions to China’s economy. Forbes China would hence like to take the opportunity of this meeting to explore more opportunities for cooperation between China and MNCs and let the public hear the voice of the MNCs, thus deepening globalization.

Mike Perlis, Vice Chairman of Forbes Global Media Holding, delivering the opening speech

Mike Perlis, Vice Chairman of Forbes Global Media Holding, pointed out in his opening speech that Forbes, as a business media outlet, has always put its focus on the world’s leading enterprises of free market. In a globalized world, MNCs and China have common interests in areas such as upholding economic globalization and free trade, and fostering healthy markets. Forbes China is ready to support the development of MNCs in China as well as international expansion of Chinese enterprises, so as to inject new impetus into globalization and free trade.

Liu Qiang, Vice Governor of Shandong Province, delivering the welcome speech

Liu Qiang, Vice Governor of Shandong Province, emphasized in his welcome speech the importance of the summit. He opined that the contribution of China’s economic development to the world economy is becoming increasingly prominent, with one reason being an increasing number of foreign enterprises entering China and Chinese enterprises expanding overseas. As they implement their global strategies, MNCs play a potent role in deepening economic globalization and in building a community with shared interests, responsibilities, and future for mankind. MNCs are also important in upholding the multilateral economic system and fostering a new type of just and equitable international relations. Citing leadership as one of the most important management qualities in the 21st century, he emphasized that good leadership is critical to improving organizational capabilities, driving change and innovation, and building globalized yet localized companies.

Craig Allen, President of the US-China Business Council, Jens Eskelund, Vice President of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, and Kubota Osamu, Executive Vice President of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), delivered keynote speeches at the summit. 

Craig Allen, President of the US-China Business Council, delivering his keynote speech

Craig Allen delivered the first keynote speech of the summit, “Winning Global Strategies”. He said that although globalization is efficient and increases global productivity, it is in essence not equitable. He shared his views on China-US trade negotiations and stated that necessary measures must be taken to ensure that a sound global economic development ecosystem which benefits every country can be realized in the future, and people should make future happen.

Jens Eskelund, Vice President of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, delivering his keynote speech

Jens Eskelund’s keynote speech revolved around the theme of “Enhancing China’s Investment Climate”. He remarked that Europe is China’s biggest trading partner and upholds free trade and a rules-based multilateral trading system. He also analyzed topics such as market access, development treatment, laws and supervision. He expressed wish to take the opportunity (of the occasion) and further promote mutually beneficial cooperation with the Shandong government to jointly deliver a prosperous future. 

Kubota Osamu, Executive Vice President of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), delivering his keynote speech

Kubota Osamu gave his keynote speech on the theme of “Globalized Economy: New Opportunities for Partnership”. After a detailed introduction of JETRO, he gave his analysis on the state of China’s economy. He emphasized that in terms of both trade and investment, China has a strong presence in the global economy. He then analyzed issues such as innovation and ageing from JETRO’s perspective and stated his hope for China and Japan to establish a mutually beneficial relationship for win-win results. 


Panel Discussion

Following was a panel discussion on “Global Business Leadership: What’s Next?” moderated by Mike Perlis which featured Noriaki Goto, Regional Executive for Asia and Senior Managing Executive Officer of MUFG Bank; Margaret Ren, Chairman of Asia Pacific GCIB & Chairman of China of Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Lucas Loh, President, China of CapitaLand Group; and Chen Zhong, President of China Communications Construction (International). 

Russell Flannery, Forbes Global Media Holding Chief China Advisor and Forbes China Chief Editor, giving an overview of the “2019 Forbes China Best Multinational CEO List” and “Forbes China Multinational Number Ones”

Russell Flannery, Forbes Global Media Holding Chief China Advisor and Forbes China Chief Editor, then took to the stage for an overview of the “2019 Forbes China Best Multinational CEO List” and introduced the “Forbes China Multinational Number Ones”.

This inaugural “Forbes China Best Multinational CEO List” aims to recognize outstanding leaders from top Chinese MNCs. Leaders that made the cut need to have served as CEO, achieved outstanding performance in both operation and financial markets for their companies during their tenure, and made exemplary contributions to their companies. Specific selection criteria were developed after comprehensive evaluation and communication with industry experts. 50 leaders emerged from multiple rounds of selection.

Roundtable Discussion


Russell Flannery, Forbes Global Media Holding Chief China Advisor and Forbes China Chief Editor, presenting the “2019 Forbes China Best Multinational CEO List” award to Zhang Yuqiang, President of China Jushi

Thereafter, Russell Flannery and Zhang Yuqiang, President of China Jushi had a discussion on the theme of “Are Leaders Born or Made?”, after which Mr. Flannery presented Mr. Zhang with the award as an honoree of the “2019 Forbes China Best Multinational CEO List”.

Zhang Ruimin, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Haier Group, and Russell Flannery, Forbes Global Media Holding Chief China Advisor and Forbes China Chief Editor, engaging in the Forbes China One on One


Zhang Ruimin, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Haier Group, receiving the “Forbes China Lifetime Achievement Award”

Mr. Flannery stayed on stage for a discussion with Zhang Ruimin, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Haier Group.  Mr. Zhang analyzed China’s economic environment and shared his views on topics such as leadership, IoT and rendanheyi, a management philosophy he developed at Haier. Following the session, Mr. Flannery presented the “Forbes China Lifetime Achievement Award” to Mr. Zhang.

Forbes China will continue to closely follow Chinese business leaders. With this Forbes China Leadership Summit, we not only provided an annual profile of the influence of China’s MNC leaders, but also paid tribute to their outstanding leadership skills.

We would like to thank the Department of Commerce of Shandong Province for their support and assistance in organizing this summit.

Contact us at:

Business enquiries: [email protected]

Media enquiries: [email protected]

Visit forbeschina.com for more details about the summit. 

Media Contact
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Contact Person: Tracy Zhao
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City: Beijing
Country: China
Website: www.newthinking.cn