DALIAN, June 28 (Xinhua) -- Few gatherings in China assemble global business elites like Summer Davos.
Since Tuesday, China's northeastern city of Dalian has seen hundreds of corporate executives from all over the world talking on a wide range of topics from the new industrial revolution to inclusive economic growth.
Greeting them on Wednesday, Premier Li Keqiang said the country's reform needs the participation of foreign capital, companies and wisdom, pledging easier market access and a level playing field.
"China's reform has always run parallel with opening up. We invite foreign firms to come to China and participate in corporate reorganization and will further lower the threshold of services to foster new growth engines," Li said, reassuring those overseas guests the same treatment as their domestic peers.
A day before, the premier addressed the opening of the forum, officially the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2017.
"I am very positively impressed with the premier's speech and the confidence that he showed on the growth of the economy," said Neil Hawkins, corporate vice president of the Dow Chemical Co.
The businessman who has witnessed the rise of China since his first trip here nearly 30 years ago is still awed by its development. "When I look at the market here, I see incredible growth opportunities across virtually every sector."
Hawkins was not the only one excited about the market here.
Echoing his words, Carol Liao, greater China president at Boston Consulting Group (BCG), believes the China is providing global companies with rare opportunities. "It has the world's largest consumer market only after the United States and tops the globe in many subdivided markets, including smart phones, bike-sharing and automobiles."
"China is now the single largest contributor to our growth," said Shane Tedjarati, president of high-growth regions business of Honeywell.
Investment data also proved China's attractiveness to foreign firms. Foreign direct investment on the Chinese mainland maintained steady increase of 4.1 percent year on year in 2016 with strong investment in the service sector.
Multinationals seemed unbothered by China's ongoing slowdown.
Liao stressed her bullish stance, saying the consumer market will stand out even if the wider economy continues to decelerate.
The economy is expected to have a 6.1 trillion U.S.dollar consumer market by 2021, up from 4.3 trillion dollars in 2016, according to a report released Wednesday by BCG and AliResearch.
"We are committed to long-term growth in China and have invested more than 1 billion U.S. dollars here," Tedjarati said.
"The market will remain a source of prosperity and growth," Tedjarati added.
China has maintained steady opening up.
The National Development and Reform Commission announced on Wednesday that a negative list for foreign investment will be used nationwide from next month.
Around 1,500 politicians, officials, entrepreneurs, scholars and media representatives from over 90 countries and regions attended the meeting. Established by the World Economic Forum in 2007, the summer forum is held each year in China, alternating between the port cities of Dalian and Tianjin.