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Boao Forum Expanding Influence

The annual Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) conference is scheduled to be held from April 24 to 25 in Boao, south China's Hainan Province. The number of participants is expected to exceed 1,000, said BFA Secretary General Long Yongtu at a press conference in Beijing Monday.

Beautiful Boao has become the permanent venue of the yearly economic forum. Launched in 2001, the conference has been gaining attention from leading figures in government and business worldwide. Those who have confirmed attendance this year include Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen, Pakistani Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali, former Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir bin Mohammad, UPS President David Abney and BMW Chairman Helmut Panke.

Representatives from outside Asia are invited to attend the BFA conference to share their experiences in regional cooperation and development. This year's non-Asian guests will include Czech President Vaclav Klaus, former US President George Bush, former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León and the trade ministers of Australia and New Zealand.

"Only by insisting on a win-win situation can the Asian economy be promoted," said Long, adding that the forum has decided to set "Asia searching for win-win" as its permanent slogan.

"Asian economic cooperation is urgent, since it is gradually being challenged by other regions," Long pointed out. However, he added, regional cooperation in Asia is also complicated because of its diverse cultures, religions and levels of economic development.

The BFA plenary session includes a summit meeting of government leaders and a business summit with speeches presented by entrepreneurs.

Several seminars will be held during the two-day event, devoted to such topics as multilateral trade systems after Cancun and Asian economic integration; the IT industry in Asia; brand name production; the supply chain in the context of globalization; the "made in Asia" image; financial cooperation; and energy cooperation.

Three round-table meetings will be held on energy, industrialization of culture and cross-Straits economic cooperation.

A special seminar cosponsored by the BFA and the China Reform Forum on China's peaceful rise and economic globalization will also be held. Experts on economics and international relations from both China and overseas will attend.

(China.org.cn by staff reporter Tang Fuchun March 30, 2004)

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