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BFA annual confce begins on Sunday

Ismail Hossain from Beijing | April 04, 2018 00:00:00

The annual conference of Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) is set to begin on Sunday in Hainan province of China under the theme 'an open and innovative Asia for a world of greater prosperity', Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Tuesday.

Some 2,000 government and non-government representatives along with academicians and business leaders from the member countries including Bangladesh will attend the four-day conference.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is scheduled to inaugurate the conference at the permanent venue of the forum in the southern island province of China.

Former communication minister of Bangladesh Syed Abul Hossain is expected to be present at the conference to represent Bangladesh.

Other attendees include Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, Mongolian Prime Minister Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde.

According to Chinese foreign minister Yi, the forum will showcase reform and build a shared community for the future of Asia and the world, and is dedicated to promote Asian countries to achieve development through integration of the regional economy.

"It (BFA) has been playing its unique role in building consensus, deepening regional cooperation, promoting common development and addressing Asian and global issues. It has become an important bridge connecting China with the rest of the world and an international exchanging cooperation platform that is distinctively Asia but also visible globally," he said.

Speaking at a media briefing in Beijing, Wang said the BFA had become "an important bridge connecting China with the rest of the world" that is "distinctively Asian while also visible globally."

President Xi will attend the forum for the third time and deliver the keynote speech at the opening ceremony, as well as meet board members, business and world leaders. Wang said the world was changing and the forum will seek answers to new developments.

"Today there are profound changes in the international situation and the world economy. On the one hand, open cooperation and transformative innovation have become the trend of the times on the other hand. At the same time, mankind is also faced with closed door and confrontational policy and resistance to changes."

"How to respond to the question of the times? How to seize opportunities to face up to challenges? The four-day conference will look for the answers," he said.

BFA is a non-governmental and non-profit international organisation that hosts high-level forums committed to promoting regional economic integration and bringing Asian countries closer to their development goals.

BFA is modelled after the World Economic Forum (WEF) held annually in Davos, Switzerland. It has its fixed address in Bo'ao, Hainan province, China although the Secretariat is based in Beijing. The forum known as the "Asian Davos", inherits its name from the town of Boao, located in China's southern Hainan province, which has been the permanent venue for its annual conference since 2002.

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