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November 6, 2016

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Forging new pathways through a digital world

SOME of the top thinkers from the world’s leading corporations will gather in Shanghai today to brainstorm on how Shanghai should adapt its growth policies to an increasingly digitized world.

They will give their views and share their experiences with Shanghai Mayor Yang Xiong at the 28th International Business Leaders’ Advisory Council (IBLAC).

The theme of this year’s meeting is “Sustainable Development of Shanghai in the Internet Era.”

Around 500 foreign and Chinese delegates will take part in today’s forum, including consuls-generals, senior government officials, heads of major state-owned companies and top private business executives.

Shanghai’s economic growth stabilized at 6.7 percent in the first three quarters of this year, in line with the national pace.

The services sector, which accounts for 70.9 percent of total economic output, remains a main driver of GDP growth. The sector rose 10.3 percent in the first nine months, while manufacturing dipped 0.7 percent and agriculture fell 12.1 percent.

Notably, Internet-related applications and technologies are transforming the city — from the process of manufacturing to the way people spend their money.

Shanghai Daily explores how the city is adapting itself to the digital age and how it is addressing the national government initiative known as “Internet Plus.”

The IBLAC forum was initiated in 1989 by then Shanghai Mayor Zhu Rongji, who later became China’s premier.

Zhu envisioned it as a platform for the world’s top business leaders to provide strategic advice on Shanghai’s development and challenges.

The council has grown into an international think-tank for Shanghai mayors. Starting with 12 members from seven countries, it has now grown to a membership of nearly 50 from 16 nations.

This year, Kevin Kelly, former executive editor of Wired magazine and the author of many popular books about digital culture, will give the keynote speech at the forum. With his consent, Shanghai Daily is reprinting his article entitled “the Internet is still at the beginning of its beginning.”


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