Chinese Premier Li Qiang Won’t Attend Key Business Meeting with Global CEOs

Chinese Premier Li Qiang has reportedly opted out of hosting a meeting with foreign CEOs scheduled to attend the upcoming China Development Forum (CDF) in late March, according to three sources briefed on the matter.

This decision has raised concerns about Beijing’s commitment to attracting foreign investment amidst growing pessimism.

The CDF, convened annually by Beijing since 2000 at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, serves as a platform for global CEOs and Chinese policymakers to convene and discuss foreign investment opportunities.

Notable attendees typically include figures such as Apple CEO Tim Cook and Ray Dalio, the founder of Bridgewater Associates.

This decision comes in the wake of a surprising announcement last week to cancel the premier’s news conference at the conclusion of the annual parliamentary session, which is traditionally one of China’s most closely watched economic and policy events.

Some analysts interpreted this move as indicative of China’s increasing internal focus and centralized governance.

A notable feature of the CDF has been the meeting between the Chinese premier and visiting CEOs, providing an avenue for dialogue and exchange of perspectives.

While Premier Li still plans to participate in the forum scheduled for March 24-25, he reportedly will not host this customary meeting, according to the sources.

The sources, who chose to remain anonymous due to restrictions on speaking to the media, emphasized that plans for the forum are still under review and subject to change.

Neither the organizers of the CDF nor the State Council Information Office, responsible for media inquiries for the Chinese cabinet, immediately responded to requests for comment.

Yue Su, Principal Economist for China at the Economist Intelligence Unit, expressed disappointment from a global CEO perspective, highlighting the importance of direct communication channels with China’s top leadership during times of uncertainty.

Toshihiro Ueda, Vice-Chair of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce in China, described the move as “clearly not a positive signal,” but indicated that the business association would adopt a cautious stance.

Josh Alba
Josh Alba
Josh Alba stands at the forefront of contemporary business journalism, his words weaving narratives that illuminate the intricate workings of the corporate world. With a keen eye for detail and a penchant for uncovering the underlying stories behind financial trends, Josh has established himself as a trusted authority in business writing. Drawing from his wealth of experience and relentless pursuit of truth, Josh delivers insights that resonate with readers across industries.
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