World / Middle East

Boao Forum for Asia kicks off in Dubai

By Lei Xiaoxun in Dubai ( Updated: 2014-11-25 11:39

The Boao Forum for Asia Financial Cooperation Conference had its grand opening in Dubai on Monday. This is the first time the forum has been held in a Gulf country, and more than 300 high-ranking officials, executives, policy-makers and academics from China and the Gulf gathered to find solutions to the challenges of a rising Asia.

United Arab Emirates (UAE) Vice President, Prime Minister and Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum and former Chinese Vice Premier and Vice chairman of the Boao Forum Zeng Peiyan were in attendance, underscoring the increasing economic ties between Dubai and China.

The conference covers a wide range of thorny issues that both China and the Gulf nations are facing: financial cooperation on the region's infrastructure, opportunities generated by the upcoming Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, multilateral regional cooperation and financial services cooperation with the energy industry.

During his keynote speech at the opening ceremony, Zeng underlined the forum's significance, saying that more cooperation, especially in finance, is needed among Asian economic players, on the basis of mutual respect and reciprocal agreements.

Touching on the latest challenges to the world economy, Zeng proposed financial cooperation such as currency swaps and new financial products to address transnational financial risks.

Most importantly, Zeng reiterated the significance and necessity of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, two initiatives proposed by President Xi Jinping in boosting regional cooperation and development.

Zhou Wenzhong, secretary-general of BFA, said that "financial cooperation is key to the integration of the regional and international economy. Dubai is not only a modern metropolis, it is also a financial connecting point between East and West. Dubai is becoming increasingly pivotal, and we are greatly honored to have BFA here in Dubai."

Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, UAE minister of development and international cooperation, hailed China's role in leading Asian growth and prosperity, saying that bilateral trade volume reached $46.2 billion in 2013, a 14 percent yearly increase.

Aziz, former Pakistani prime minister, said the forum will definitely strengthen Dubai's position as a connecting hub between the Middle East and Asia. "A new geopolitical order is here to stay and Asia will lead the new global economic growth."

He also praised China's steady and peaceful growth model, touting the proposed AIIB as "a major milestone" in the region's development.

Xinhua and Falcon contributed to this story.

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