Remarks by Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong at the BFA Promotional Dinner
Origin:Boao Forum for Asia      Time:2014-07-16 23:51:26     Views:611598

Remarks by Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong at the BFA Promotional Dinner

I am glad to be here with you this evening.

We are privileged to have with us Former Vice Premier of China, Mr. Zeng Peiyan, who has taken time off his busy schedule to participate in this year’s FutureChina Global Forum.

Mr. Zeng is an old friend. Despite having stepped down from the vice-premiership and as a member of the Politburo in 2007, Mr. Zeng continues to keep himself active. Besides co-chairing the Cross-Strait Entrepreneur Summit, and helping to advance trilateral cooperation between China, South Korea and Japan, Mr. Zeng is also the Vice-Chairman of the Boao Forum for Asia. It is through the Boao Forum that I got to know him well. He is knowledgeable in regional affairs and is also the Chairman of the China Centre for International Economic Exchanges, a well-known Chinese think tank.

Singapore and China are at different ends of the scale of countries according to geographical size. China’s sovereignty has been threatened in the past but China can never disappear as a country. Singapore can. Our independent history is only 49 years. Singapore has to learn to survive as a sovereign country. We have grown and prospered because our founding fathers, among other qualities, were able to read the winds of change in the world and tack our sails accordingly. Or as the Africans would say, we bent the wind. Whether it is in politics, economics, or business, our leaders have had to look beyond the horizon and tack the sails accordingly.

One big shift in the winds around us is the rise of China. As China grows in strength, we hope that this will not just be China’s Century. We hope it will be the “Asian Century”. As the largest Asian country and economy, China’s growth will have great impact on the region. For example, its burgeoning middle class, economic reforms, and vast market have created immense opportunities for countries in the region. China’s share of trade and investments flows in the region – both inward and outward – has risen rapidly as a result.

How can we understand the thinking of top Chinese minds in the political and economic sphere, and how can we use that understanding in our respective organization? This is a question that the Boao Forum seeks to help answer.

As the pre-eminent international meeting in China, the Boao Forum has significant value as a platform where participants can discuss the issues and shape both China and the region. I first attended the Boao Forum when it was just in its second year. I have been back there many times as a member of the Board. I can tell you the Boao Forum has come a long way.

Thank you very much for your support of Boao and enjoy your dinner.

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