Zhao Yong (right), Party chief of the Tangshan municipal committee, talks with a foreign businessman at the forum.
While the curtain is coming down today on the first Caofeidian Forum, its theme - exploring sustained growth - is likely to long continue in the thoughts of participants.
Organized mainly for Chinese and foreign mayors, the international forum that started Thursday in Caofeidian, part of Tangshan in north China's Hebei province, attracted more than 1,000 participants from around the world, including high-ranking governmental officials, senior corporate executives and internally renowned scholars.
The global economy has already begun to show signs of recovery, yet the hangover from the international financial crisis remains - giving rise to this year's event. It focused on sustainable development and new industrialization as ways to emerge stronger from the economic turmoil now gripping the world.
Participants exchanged insights on a wide variety of topics including the recycled economy, new industrialization, sustained development for cities, construction of eco-friendly urban areas and regional economic cooperation.
Speeches, symposiums, investment promotions, trade talks, displays of energy-efficient and resource-saving products and technologies and inspection tours were also part the event.
Organizers said the prestigious forum illustrates China's determination to develop a sustainable economy while showcasing the emerging Bohai Bay Rim's strategic significance in the country's modernization, promoting the host city Tangshan as an example of the move from a resource-based city to an eco-friendly, sustained economy.
The bay rim region of Hebei, Shandong and Liaoning provinces along with Beijing and Tianjin now generate a combined annual gross domestic product of nearly 7.76 trillion yuan - about a quarter of the nation's total.
The figure is expected to surpass 8.7 trillion yuan in 2010, 30 percent of the nation's projected total.
Accelerating development and reform in the region is seen as key to the nation's development strategy, helping stimulate demand and tackle the economic meltdown. The region is also expected to play a significant role in China's continued growth over the next three decades, organizers said.
The Binhai New District in Tianjin was named a pilot area for comprehensive reforms by the central government in early 2008. Caofeidian is among the nation's first model industrial parks using a recycled economy.
The forum is jointly sponsored by the ministries of land and resources, and environmental protection, the Development Research Center of the State Council and the Hebei provincial government.
Centering on sustained growth, the theme of the biennial international event will vary each year.