BFA Melbourne Conference Explores the Future of Globalization
Origin:Boao Forum for Asia      Time:2016-12-15 20:35:31     Views:857825

From December 7 to 8, 2016, Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) and the Government of Victoria, Australia, co-organized in Melbourne a conference titled “The Future of Globalization”. It convened more than 300 political, business and academic leaders from a dozen Asian countries and emerging economies to collectively explore the prospects and new drivers of globalization. Issues covered by the conference included global, regional and bilateral trade frameworks such as WTO, RCEP, TPP and FTA, as well as trade, investment, E-commerce and commodities. 

The opening ceremony and sessionswere graced by a number of high-level figures, including ZENG Peiyan, BFA Vice Chairman and former Vice Premier of China; Daniel Michael Andrews, Premier of Victoria State, Australia; Tony Smith, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Australia; Kelly O’Dwyer, Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, Australia; Bob Hawke, Member of the BFA Advisory Council and former Prime Minister of Australia; Jenny Shipley, BFA Board Member and former Prime Minister of New Zealand; CHEN Deming, former Minister of Commerce, China; and WU Xinxiong, former Director General of National Energy Administration, China.

In his speech at the opening ceremony, ZENG Peiyan pointed out that globalization will continue to be the trend for international social and economic development and this process will not stop or reverse, but will experience constant adjustments. The temporary setbacks impeding globalization are mainly results of misalignment between globalization and the international regime, the wealth distribution mechanism and the internal restructuring of economies. All countries are advised to put the negative impact of globalization into perspective and take remedial actions to eliminate it. He also shared his belief that globalization will continue to move forward after overcoming setbacks.

ZENG believes that a healthy and sustainable globalization should be “inclusive, fair, coordinated and innovative”. Therefore, the international community should build a consensus and move towards common goals, entrenching globalization as an important means to build a community of a shared future. The current economic governance institutions should play a greater role in guiding, supervising and correcting the process by strengthening policy implementation, addressing issues arising in economic restructure, wealth distribution, coordination between trade frameworks and the development of small and medium-sized companies, so that all countries and population groups will benefit from globalization.

Premier of Victoria, Daniel Michael Andrews noted in his speech that both Victoria and Melbourne have benefitted a lot from globalization and built a strong partnership with Asia. Such a partnership is not only reflected in investment in Victoria by Asian countries, particularly China, but also in the mutual trust between the two sides. The local community believes that globalization is a shared challenge and opportunity. The charm of globalization lies in the fact that the smaller the world, the larger the market. 

Andrews also pointed out that globalization is in the interests of all countries and people, but not all countries, regions and population groups have equally benefited from this process. Despite the fact that Melbourne is a beneficiary of globalization, some countries, regions and groups cannot experience comparable growth speed and quality. This issue should not be ignored, but should be addressed through open dialogues and discussions to construct a partnership that will benefit all, thus eliminating misgivings about and opposition to globalization.

Tony Smith said in his speech that solid partnerships serve as an important foundation for globalization, believing that inter-parliamentary exchanges and cooperation also play a critical role in advancing economic cooperation and globalization. The Australian Parliament maintains close interaction with its counterparts in China and the rest of Asia, as well as fruitful cooperation within the frameworks of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum and the Inter-Parliamentary Union. He also expressed his hope to continue and strengthen such interaction and cooperation.

Kelly O’Dwyer noted the decisive significance of the bilateral relations between Asia and Australia, saying that Australia believes in globalization and international cooperation and is committed to removing, instead of creating, trade barriers. She believes that trade brings growth. Any anti-trade act or speech must be resolutely opposed. She emphasized that there would be no future for Australia without trade.

Business leaders who participated in the conference included: DING Xuedong, Chairman of China Investment Corporation; Ahmed Fahour, CEO of Australia Post; LI Ruogu, former Chairman of China Eximbank; XU Zongxiang, Vice President of CRRC Group; Donald Maguachie, Chairman of AACo; Kusumo Martanto, CEO of Blibli; JIAO Jian, Chairman of China Minmetals Non-ferrous Metals Co., Ltd.; XUE Feng, General Manager of CEFC Natural Gas (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.; and Andrew Forrest, Chairman of Fortescue Metals Group. Some leading scholars also attended the conference, such as Ross Garnaut, Professor of Economics at the Australian National University; ZHANG Dawei, Deputy Director General of China Center for International Economic Exchange; and Sudheendra Kulkarni, Chairman of Observer Research Foundation Mumbai.

On the sidelines of the conference, Vice Chairman ZENG Peiyan also met some senior officials of Australia, including Linda Dessau, Governor of Victoria, and Daniel Michael Andrews, Premier of the State Government of Victoria.

Australia is one of the Initial Countries of the BFA and various communities of the country have long been supportive of the BFA. This conference was scheduled by the two sides last year upon the invitation of the State Government of Victoria.

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