President Bill Clinton and School of Business Professor George Wang at the Global Summit of Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Leaders in Guangzhou, China.

The Global Summit of Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Leaders, held in Guangzhou, China last month, was attended by over 300 SME executives worldwide, along with global political leaders, international organizations, Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) representatives, and scholars from academia.

Professor J. George Wang of the School of Business at CSI attended the conference as one of the keynote speakers and as the moderator for Mr. Bill Clinton (42nd president of the United States of America). As the first program on the conference agenda, President Clinton spoke for 30-minutes, addressing the issues of SME development worldwide.

Following his speech, Professor Wang conducted a 15 minute face-to-face dialogue with President Clinton, covering the issues related to the recovery of the US and global economy, the sustainability of the economic growth in emerging countries such as Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS), US-China trade relationships, the potential roles of the US dollar, Euro, and RMB in international financial markets in the future, and what China’s SMEs can learn from US SMEs. Both President Clinton’s speech and the following dialogue were very well received by the audience.

At a later session of the conference, Professor Wang presented to the conference a preliminary report of a research project that was conducted by a team led by Professor Wang, regarding the development of the global SMEs. In his presentation, Professor Wang discussed the status of global SME’s development by looking at data collected from 14 representative countries across 5 continents, citing 12 indicators. The report also analyzed root causes of the challenges and issues that face SMEs worldwide, proposing a “cocktail” type of solution for SMEs to meet these challenges. Professor Wang’s presentation was also well received by the audiences, and Professor Wang was invited on the spot to conduct joint research, and to speak as a keynote for events that will be held next year in China, Europe and Latin America. The research report conducted by Professor Wang – when it is completed and finalized –  will be published by Springer Publishing based upon an agreement signed earlier this year.

Other attendees included: Mr. Jean-Pierre Raffarin (former prime minister of France), Mr. John William Ashe (president of the United Nations General Assembly), Mr. Carlos Magarinos (former director general of United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and former minister of industry and mining of Argentina), Mr. Canseco Terry (former vice president of Peru), Ms. Patricia Espinosa (former minister of foreign affairs of Mexico), Mr. Mohamed Dhaoui (director of the business, investment and technology services branch of UNIDO), Mr. Ronald Bew (former associate deputy administrator of US Small Business Administration), Ms. Li Xiaolin (president of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries), Mr. Zhu Xiaodan (governor of Guangdong Province), and Mr. Chen Jianhua (mayor of Guangzhou City), all of whom were speakers at the event.