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  1. Home

  2. About BFA

  3. Conferences & Meetings

  4. Press Center

  5. Members & Partners

  6. BFA Academy

  7. Areas of Focus

  8. Regional Cooperation

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Position: Home >> BFA Academy >> Point of Views

A Preview of Topics and Participants for BFA Annual Conference 2019
Origin:Boao Forum for Asia      Time:2019-03-17 10:57:07    Views:193

The Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2019 (AC 2019) is less than one month from now. With the list of confirmed participants becoming longer and longer and the agenda increasingly fleshed out, you may find yourself a little bit lost in such a diversity of topics and participants.

According to the introduction by BFA Secretary General Li Baodong at the press conference, AC 2019 includes more than 50 sessions formatted under five modules—open world economy; multilateralism, regional cooperation and global governance; innovation-driven development; high-quality development; and critical issues.

Now, let’s examine these modules one by one.

The first module is open world economy, with “open” as its keyword. Many sessions will be graced by prominent figures. At the “WTO Reform” session, for example, participants will not only see political leaders such as Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines; Zhou Xiaochuan, former Governor of the People’s Bank of China; and Carlos Gutierrez, former US Commerce Secretary, but will also see experts who are conversant with WTO rules, such as James Bacchus, Founding Member and former Chairman of the Appellate Body of WTO; and Dilip Chenoy, Secretary General of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. 

Another example is the “Free Trade Zone & Free Port” roundtable. Thanks to the unique strengths of Hainan as a free port, the session will attract many distinguished guests to contribute their insights on free trade zone and free port development. Confirmed participants include: Cao Yuanzheng, Chairman of BOCI Research Limited; Chi Fulin, President of the China Institute for Reform and Development; Gu Xueming, President of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, Ministry of Commerce, China; Wang Shouwen, Vice Minister of Commerce, China; Jin Xiangjun, Vice Mayor of Tianjin; as well as Zhou Xiaochuan, Vice Chairman and Li Baodong, Secretary General, of the Boao Forum for Asia. 

The “multilateralism, regional cooperation and global governance” module is highly relevant. Over the past few years, we have seen the rise of unilateralism worldwide. As a high-level dialogue platform focused on Asia with a global reach, the BFA has attracted a large number of eminent figures to champion regional cooperation and globalization.

The “Belt & Road: Building ‘Road’ for Globalization” session is an all-star show. Prominent participants include political leaders, such as Romano Prodi, former President of the European Commission; Kevin Michael Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia; Surakiart Sathirathai, former Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand; and Liu Kun, Minister of Finance, China, as well as business leaders who have deep roots in Belt and Road countries, such as Jin Liqun, President of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank; Xie Duo, President of Silk Road Fund; Liu Qitao, Chairman of China Communications Construction Co., Ltd.; Xu Lirong, Chairman of China COSCO Shipping Co., Ltd.; and Zheng Zhijie, Chairman of China Development Bank. The moderator is also a heavyweight, Zhang Yansheng, Senior Research Fellow on the Academic Committee of National Development and Reform Commission.

As the major driver of high-quality development, technological progress will be a priority of the BFA. The “innovation-driven development” module is an in-depth exploration of various issues such as big data, artificial intelligence, blue economy, shared economy, 5G and fintech. The “Opportunities and Challenges Facing Fintech” session will be graced by the presence of veteran insiders such as Whitfield Diff, a Turing Award Winner; Ellen Richey, Chief Risk Officer of Visa, Inc.; Veerathai Santiprabhob, Governor of the Bank of Thailand; and Shao Fujun, Chairman of China UnionPay. Their discussion will center on issues of common interest, such as blockchain, big data and cloud computing.

The “high-quality development” module will focus on quality economic growth. As a Chinese saying goes, “one prescription that fits is better than a cartful of prescriptions that don't suit the disease.” The new economic normal calls for new ways of thinking. For the “Financial Sector ‘Breaking Through’” session, panelists include senior policy makers, such as Yi Gang, Governor of the People’s Bank of China; and Giovanni Tria, Minister of Economy and Finance, Italy; as well as leading academics and financial veterans, such as Zhu Min, President of the National Institute of Financial Research, Tsinghua University; and Oliver Bate, Chairman of the Board of Management and CEO, Allianz SE. Together, they will explore how the financial sector can better support the real economy. The module also includes a dozen sessions that will address issues such as rural and urban development, housing, tax cuts, consumption and security, in order to a give a multi-dimensional perspective on social and economic progress.

The “critical issues” module covers a broad range of issues, including politics, diplomacy, security, education, culture, health and livelihood. The “70 and 40 Years in Retrospect: China in a New Era” session will walk participants through the history of China’s reform and development efforts. The “Ageing and Health” session is an event initiated by Margaret Chan, former Director-General of WHO. The module also features some constant sessions, such as “A Conversation with University Presidents: When East Meets West”.

A shared future calls for concerted action, which in turn leads to common development. With AC 2019 just around the corner, preparations for the conference are also entering the final stage. 2018 was a year full of twists and turns, while 2019 is expected to be a year of promise and opportunities. The whole world is now watching what takeaways these political, business and academic leaders from around the world will introduce in Hainan, China.