Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference 2004, with the theme of "Asia Searching for Win-Win: An Asia Open to the World," is slated for April 24-25 in Boao, a coastal town and the permanent BFA site in Hainan Province, south China.
The following are major events in the history of BFA:
In 1998, former Prime Minister of Australia Robert James Lee Hawke, former President of the Philippines Fidel Ramos, and former Prime Minister of Japan Hosokawa Morihiro proposed the launching of the BFA.
On Feb. 27, 2001, the BFA was officially established, with the Declaration on the BFA adopted by delegates from 26 founding member countries. Then Chinese President Jiang Zemin addressed and presented a poem to the inauguration ceremony of the BFA.
On April 11, 2002, an 11-member board of directors for the BFA was elected, with former Philippine President Fidel Ramos as chairman and former Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation of China Zhang Xiang as secretary-general.
On April 12-13, 2002, the first BFA annual conference was held with the theme of "New Century, New Challenge, A New Asia," and more than 1,900 delegates from 48 countries and regions attended. Then Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji gave a keynote speech at the opening of the meeting.
On Nov. 18-19, 2002, Boao Forum for Asia -- Tourism Conference was held in Guilin, a famous tourist attraction in Guangxi, south China. About 500 delegates from 32 Asian and European countries and 10 international organizations attended the conference.
On Jan. 20, 2003, then Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation Long Yongtu was elected as secretary-general of the forum at a Board of Directors meeting in Tokyo, Japan.
On Jan. 24, 2003, Then Chinese President Jiang Zemin met with Fidel Ramos, former president of the Philippines and chairman of the BFA, and some other directors.
On May 13-14, 2003, a workshop on the impact of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) on the Asian economy and on relevant policy recommendations was held in Beijing, jointly convened by the BFA and the Asian Development Bank. Nearly 200 participants including chief economists from the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, representatives from international organizations and the Chinese government, as well as scholars and entrepreneurs, participated in the teleconference.
On July 3, 2003, a BFA workshop on SARS and Asian digitalization was held in Beijing and some 150 delegates from Chinese government departments, trade associations, related international organizations and Chinese and foreign entrepreneurs attended the teleconference.
On July 14-15, 2003, the International Cooperation for Tourism Development Under a New Paradigm Conference was held in Hong Kong, jointly sponsored by the BFA and the World Tourism Organization. Over 1,000 high level tourism officials, tourism professionals, experts and scholars from the 26 BFA founding member countries and Pacific, European and American countries attended.
On Sept. 8, 2003, the BFA held a seminar on Asian economic integration and regional trade, participated by delegates from regional organizations, some Asian countries' ambassadors to China, Chinese government officials and experts.
On Sept. 22, 2003, the BFA International Convention Center was officially put into use, with Jiang Zemin inscribing the name of it.
On Nov. 1, 2003, the BFA held a general assembly in Boao, where the BFA constitution and related documents were adopted.
On Nov. 2-3, 2003, the 2003 BFA annual conference was held in Boao, Hainan Province with the theme of "Asia Seeking Common Development Through Cooperation."
(Xinhua News Agency April 19, 2004)