Press Release

Second Annual Bloomberg Global Business Forum Concludes with Government and Business Leaders Working Together to Promote Global Trade and Investment

Largest gathering of heads of state outside a formal government summit in 2018 marked by several new public-private partnerships and initiatives related to technology, climate, gender equality, migration, and more

NEW YORK, NY — As the Bloomberg Global Business Forum (GBF) came to a close today, more than 70 heads of state and delegation from six continents and over 200 CEOs came together to discuss shared issues and mutual opportunities including trade, globalization, innovation, and competition, supported by several new public-private partnerships, investment announcements, and global agreements. The record attendance by world leaders made the Forum this year’s largest gathering of heads of state outside a formal government summit.

Opening the day, Michael R. Bloomberg declared: “This forum is designed to give business leaders a seat at the table, including on an issue where the UN doesn’t have a formal role: trade… Trade has made the world more peaceful and stable by connecting our nations – and aligning our interests. But the benefits of trade have not been distributed as widely as they should be – and we must do more to address that.” Bloomberg added, “This is a day full of potential. Our success won’t be measured at the end of it; it will be measured in the months and years to come.”

In a keynote address, Theresa May, Prime Minister, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, said: “I have come here to this Bloomberg Forum because we will only succeed if we also work with you, some of the most pioneering business leaders in the world today… It’s about listening to business and working in partnership with you. It’s about understanding what you need and working together to help us make the U.K. one of the most attractive countries in the world for establishing and growing a business.”

During the morning plenary session, government and business leaders sat together to discuss partnerships and drivers of growth. James Hackett, President and CEO, Ford Motor Co., said: “In my 20 years as a CEO, I never thought about trade, and now it’s top of mind. It needs to be updated. The key to trade negotiations is finding an equilibrium. Invest based on back and forth.”

Margrethe Vestager, Commissioner for Competition, European Commission, said: “We must make sure that what we do as an authority leaves room for enterprises…It’s not about your flag, it’s about the competitive spirit. You’re supposed to compete for your business in Europe.”

Robin Li, CEO, Baidu, later added: “China is a big market, we are a lot of people. And we have tens of millions of users using our service every day. We have data and opportunities to innovate. That being said, we have constraints with tech privacy and how do we make sure the technology does not go out of control and do bad things to mankind. We have things to worry about, but I see more opportunities than threats.”

Ginni Rometty, Chairman, President and CEO, IBM, discussed the benefits of AI, and former U.S. President Bill Clinton moderated a panel on global trade relationships with Iván Duque Márquez, President of Colombia, Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway, and Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa.

Following the plenary, world leaders and CEOs met in small breakout sessions to discuss new ways to work together across government and business. The breakout sessions covered global finance and the future investment outlook; economic migration, changing demographics, and youth employment; technological issues and opportunities; and major economic issues in Africa, Asia, and Europe. Included in those conversations were Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand; Alain Berset, President of Switzerland; Federica Mogherini, Vice President of the European Commission; Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia; Enrique Peña Nieto, President of Mexico; Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón, President of Spain; Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands; and Frans Timmermans, First Vice President of the European Commission; as well as Mary Callahan Erdoes, CEO, J.P. Morgan Asset & Wealth Management; Jim Coulter, Co-CEO and Founding Partner, TPG; Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO, BlackRock; Kenneth Griffin, Founder and CEO, Citadel; Bill McDermott, CEO, SAP; Heather Ridout, Chairwoman, Australian Super; Feike Sijbesma, Chairman and CEO, Royal DSM; David M. Solomon, President and COO, Goldman Sachs; and Tidjane Thiam, CEO, Credit Suisse.

Closing the day, Michael Bloomberg said: “Multilateralism has brought the world unprecedented peace and prosperity – and if we work together the future will be very bright.”

Several partnerships and initiatives were also announced at GBF, including:

  • Enhancing the Gender Equality Index: Michael Bloomberg and The Right Honourable Penny Mordaunt, U.K. Minister for Women and Equalities, announced a new partnership between Bloomberg L.P. and the Government of the United Kingdom to improve reporting and transparency around gender equality in the workplace.
  • Partnership on Shared Streets: Ford Motor Co., Uber, Lyft and Bloomberg Philanthropies announced an agreement to share data on a new platform that gives Mayors and mobility companies tools to manage congestion, cut greenhouse gases, and reduce crashes.
  • Support of Global Compact for Migration: The Presidents of Mexico and Switzerland issued an open letter to CEOs to support the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, the first intergovernmentally negotiated agreement, prepared under the auspices of the United Nations, to cover all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner. Seven major international companies pledged their support.

Today also marked the conclusion of the second One Planet Summit (OPS). Focused on climate action, the Summit was co-hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron, Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres, President of the World Bank Group Jim Yong Kim, and United Nations Special Envoy for Climate Action Michael Bloomberg. The 2018 Summit reviewed progress made in implementing the 12 international commitments made at the inaugural One Planet event in December 2017.

To see the full program and list of speakers, go to Photos from the event are on

Follow Mike Bloomberg on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram, and Bloomberg Philanthropies on FacebookInstagramSnapchat, and Twitter for other GBF news and highlights.

For additional questions about the Bloomberg Global Business Forum, please email

Following the Global Business Forum, Bloomberg’s inaugural New Economy Forum will be held in Singapore on November 6-7, 2018. The forum will convene a first-ever gathering of 400 preeminent leaders from the public and private sectors to begin seeking private sector-led solutions in response to the risks and opportunities created by a world in transition, increasingly led by China and India, as well as rising powers in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. The forum will produce solutions to important global issues, covering six themes: globalization and trade, technology, finance and capital markets, climate, urbanization and inclusion.

“In November, we will continue the constructive dialogue we had today on trade, globalization, and innovation,” said Michael R. Bloomberg. “The new emerging world order is creating emerging challenges – issues that the private sector can take steps to ensure global stability and growth, an urgent mission in the face of chronic inaction by governments.”


About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies works in 480 cities in more than 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2017, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $702 million. For more information, please visit or follow us on FacebookInstagramSnapchat, and Twitter.