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Boao Forum to focus on safeguarding free trade

By Pan Mengqi | China Daily | Updated: 2019-01-17 09:22
Aerial photo taken on March 22, 2018 shows the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Convention Center in Boao, Qionghai of South China's Hainan province.  [Photo/Xinhua]

The annual Boao Forum for Asia will focus on safeguarding globalization and free trade this year as the world faces mounting economic pressure and more unstable factors and uncertainties, Li Baodong, forum secretary-general said on Wednesday in Beijing.

Li announced that the 2019 forum is scheduled for March 26 to 29 in Boao, Hainan province. The opening plenum will take place on March 28.

At a Beijing news conference on the forum, Li said the global economy saw "moderate growth, but with slower momentum" in 2018 as protectionism and unilateralism are posing real and serious challenges to the world economy. He stressed that multilateralism and cooperation must be respected to cope with the backlash against globalization that threatens the global economy.

"It is in this global context that the BFA has selected 'Shared Future, Concerted Action, Common Development' as the theme of its 2019 annual conference. A shared future calls for concerted action, whereas concerted action leads to common development," Li said, adding that the conference will provide an open, inclusive dialogue platform for stakeholders and send a clear message to build consensus regarding rising global challenges.

In addition, Li said that the annual conferences of the BFA, which is hosted in China, have been graced by its State leaders every year.

Li Baodong, secretary-general of the Boao Forum for Asia. [Photo/China Daily]

 

"Currently, the BFA secretariat is maintaining communication (with the central government) and has received positive feedback regarding the presence of State leaders ... at the 2019 annual conference. Also, a number of Asian and European government leaders have stated their intention to participate."

At the opening ceremony of the 2018 Boao Forum for Asia in April, President Xi Jinping gave the keynote speech and emphasized that China would adhere to the path of multilateralism and open its door wider to the world.

Xi announced a series of measures to expand China's opening-up, including substantially easing market access, creating a more attractive investment environment, strengthening intellectual property protection and expanding imports.

This year, the forum will have about 50 official sessions, including themed discussions, CEO dialogues and roundtable meetings.

The events are formatted under five themes - open world economy; multilateralism, regional cooperation and global governance; innovation-driven development; high-quality development; and critical issues.

The Boao Forum for Asia is a nongovernmental and nonprofit international organization formed in 2001. "Though it is based in Asia, we have a vision to strive for a better future for the world," Li said, adding that the forum is now a platform for Asian countries to gather and work together to build a community with a shared future for Asia and all humankind.

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