2019-10-20 08:46:35

Around 50 leaders from international businesses met with the mayor of Shanghai on Sunday to give their suggestions for the city’s future development.

“Shanghai is facing a new round of opportunities for development. We will advance (the city’s) economic transformation by focusing on up-and-coming industries like artificial intelligence and biomedicine,” Mayor Ying Yong said during the 31st International Business Leaders’ Advisory Council (IBLAC) Sunday.

Representatives from international businesses like Allianz, PwC, HSBC, and Roche shared outlooks for their respective industries including international insurance, asset management, financial technology, biomedicine, and more.

Upgrading the city’s health care sector and planning the future of the Yangtze River Delta were two of the main topics discussed at Sunday’s forum. “Promoting data-mining … while protecting patient privacy is a clear indication of the city’s acknowledgement of the role health data plays in achieving its ambitions to build a world-class healthy city,” Joerg Reinhardt, the chairman of Swiss drugmaker Novartis, said during the forum.

Severin Schwan, the CEO of Roche, another Swiss pharmaceutical company, agreed, saying that recording such “meaningful data” should yield better patient outcomes and fuel the development of health care that is both data-driven and patient-centric. Schwan recommended that Shanghai devise a policy framework for improving data security and protecting patient privacy.

“It’s important to build public trust in data security,” Schwan said. “This can be done by educating the public about how the policy for data protection is able to ensure data security.”

In the late 1980s, Shanghai’s economy had developed substantially but was still experiencing growing pains from the country’s overarching reforms. In 1988 the city’s then-mayor, Zhu Rongji, decided to invite internationally renowned entrepreneurs to the city to advise him on how to deal with the main challenges facing the city.

The first IBLAC forum for international business leaders was held in Shanghai in the fall of 1989 and has recurred every year since.

(Header image: A view of the Bund in Shanghai, Sept. 17, 2019. VCG)