Today, world and business leaders from every region, including more than 50 heads of state and 250 international CEOs, joined Michael R. Bloomberg for the inaugural Global Business Forum, to discuss innovative and collaborative ways to solve challenges and explore new opportunities to global economic growth. The one-day forum took place at the Plaza Hotel in New York City in partnership with the Alibaba Group; Dangote Industries Limited; EXOR, the holding company controlled by the Agnelli family; the Mahindra Group; and MiSK, the philanthropic foundation of His Royal Highness Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz.
Major announcements made at the Global Business Forum included President of the World Bank Jim Kim and UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa joining Michael R. Bloomberg to highlight a new initiative to ramp up finance for climate action, as well as California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s announcement of the Global Climate Action Summit to be hosted in San Francisco in 2018.
Key quotes from the Global Business Forum:
Michael R. Bloomberg: “Too often governments and businesses don’t talk to each other. This forum aims to fix that, and it’s especially important when isolationism is rearing its head… including here in the U.S.”
President Bill Clinton: “I want you to look to the future, but I believe underneath all these debates that are going on today lingers one simple question… whether you believe social strength, economic reform and political reform flow from division or multiplication.”
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Chairman Jack Ma: “The world is looking for more inclusive, sustainable, happy, and healthy environments. I think the world not only needs G20, B20; we need G200 and B200. And I think our kids have also changed. They do not want to get informed; they want to be involved.”
PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi discussed the challenges to, and importance of, an inclusive workforce, noting her rising to leadership: “I came into the workforce when there were hardly any women in senior executive positions … I had to work harder to prove that color and gender should not be counted against me.”
Chair of the State Bank of India Arundhati Bhattacharya: “I think most… businesses understand [that they need to engage in sustainable growth], and therefore they are eager to participate in this experiment… I think it’s a story that the world really needs to invest in if it’s to see stable growth.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: “[T]rade leads to growth… and we made a deal with citizens that we would pursue pro-growth policies and that everyone would benefit… So we’ve seen growth, but it hasn’t necessarily reached everyone… and that’s where we fall into the politics of fear and envy… so now we need to make a turn into a new progressive trade agenda.
Apple CEO Tim Cook: “If I were a leader of a country… I’d want every smart person coming into my country…[because] smart people create jobs… I’d have a very aggressive plan not to just let a few people in. I would be recruiting.”
In conversation with Admiral Michael Mullen, Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the European Commission explained: “I believe, as a European, we have learned over the last year to be, maybe, more aware of our strengths. There are things like the priority we give to multinationalism, or the U.N. system, or conflict prevention and peacekeeping, or climate change … that we think are key to our own security, to our own future.
In the afternoon, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan shared his views on security for a region in flux in a conversation with John Micklethwait; and First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, Isabelle Kocher and Strive Masiyiwa discussed climate change, mass migration, and economic transformations.
Initial Wrap Up of Key News from the Forum Includes:
Macron Indicates Openness to Treaty Change as Part of EU Revamp
Jack Ma: People should stop looking to manufacturing to drive economic growth.
Bill Clinton calls wave of populism “Separatist Tribalism’
Bloomberg on Business and Global Engagement:
Overall Wrap: World Leaders Push More Inclusive Approach to Globalization
Tim Cook blasts Trump over DACA
Top Quotes from Global Business Forum:
Op-Ed: Stronger Global Relations Require Business Leadership