GENEVA, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- The World Economic Forum (WEF) is "very proud" that it has managed to maintain "very positive" ties with China, a senior WEF official has said.
"We all know that China is an important factor in the future evolution and development of worldwide economy. So we are all very interested in what China will be doing," said Andre Schneider, managing director and chief operating officer of the Geneva-based organization.
In a recent interview with Xinhua before next week's opening of the 2009 WEF annual meeting, also known as the Davos Forum, in the Swiss Alpine skiing resort Davos.
More than 40 heads of state or government, including Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, and some 1,400 business leaders, have confirmed their participation at the five-day meeting scheduled to deal with the ongoing financial crisis and other global challenges.
Premier Wen's participation will certainly be "a unique opportunity" for the world to better understand what are the plans of the Chinese leadership to deal with the crisis, Schneider said.
Schneider noted the first two WEF annual meetings of the new champions, dubbed "Summer Davos Forum," were both held in China, in Dalian in 2007 and Tianjin a year later.
The success of the "Summer Davos Forum," a gathering of new multinational companies from China and across the world to explore the mechanisms of continued and sustainable growth, indicated the strong collaboration between the two sides, he said.
The WEF's choice of China as the host of the "Summer Davos Forum" was "an absolutely right one," he said.
Schneider noted that cooperation between the WEF and China started in 1979, when China first sent a delegation to the Davos Forum.
China and its economic growth has been a topic of interest for participants at the Davos Forum in recent years.
In June 2006, the organization opened a representative office in Beijing, which aims to deal with all interactions with China. "It's a clear sign of our deepened collaboration," he said.