Boao Forum to further integrate Asian economies


BOAO: The 2021 Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) kicked off in Boao, a coastal resort in South China’s Hainan Province on Sunday. In the post-COVID19 era, attendees’ anticipation for the conference, also the first international forum comprising mostly offline conferences this year, includes not only helping Asian countries shore up confidence in accelerating economic growth, but also taking it as an international exchange forum that has a global impact.
The four-day annual conference, which is themed around “A World in Change: Join Hands to Strengthen Global Governance and Advance Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Cooperation,” is scheduled to be held from Sunday to Wednesday this week. On-site pandemic control was strict and thorough during the BFA. A security person, sitting next to a temperature checking robot at the entrance of the conference halls of the BFA, told the Global Times on Sunday that whoever has a body temperature over 37 C will not be allowed to enter the conference area and will be directly taken away for nucleic acid testing and go through medical treatment or observation.
Temperature screening, masks and alcohol disinfection products are seen at entrance of every major venue hall. Dining sites were also separated by glass for epidemic control.
“Despite the pandemic, a total of approximately 2,600 representatives from more than 60 countries and regions, and more than 1,200 journalists from 160 media organizations from 18 countries and regions attended the conference, BFA Secretary General Li Baodong, told a press conference on Sunday.
“In total, more than 4,000 participants have registered offline for the event, an unprecedented scale, and is the world’s largest offline conference so far this year,” said Li.
Moreover, 40 dignitaries and former dignitaries, 74 ministerial and former officials, dozens of heads and senior leaders of international organizations, dozens of envoys in China, representatives of international organizations, and nearly a hundred executives from world-renowned companies, will also attend the meeting via online or offline channels, Li said.
Topics including carbon neutrality, climate change, and digital economy will top the agenda in the following days. An official opening ceremony will be held on Tuesday. “The fact that we are sitting face-to-face and in crowded places, and yet we know we are safe is an indication that the pandemic can be prevented and managed, which shows strong political will,” Siddharth Chatterjee, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in China, said in a group interview on Sunday, adding that it also shows the discipline, resilience and how science has prevailed in China. “I hope the rest of the world embraces the same method and then we would be able to overcome the pandemic much faster,” he noted.
Increasing Asian role
The BFA has released an annual report on the Asian economy on Sunday, saying that under the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Asian economies have experienced a sharp drop in growth rates, however, Asian economic performance as a whole has been significantly better than the rest of the world. – Agencies