p Boao Forum to focus on safeguarding free trade | 2019-01-18

Boao Forum to focus on safeguarding free trade

Business Desk

18 January, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Boao Forum to focus on 
safeguarding free trade

Former Communication Minister and Chairman of Sahco International Syed Abul Hossain shakes hands with Boao Forum Secretary General Li Baodong after attending a meeting in Beijing on Wednesday.

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

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

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 globalisation that threatens the global economy.

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.

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 Boao Forum for Asia is a non-governmental and non-profit international organisation 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.