The first annual conference of Boao Forum for Asia was held from April 12 to April 13, 2002 in Boao, Hainan Province of China. Some 2000 government officials including leaders from Japan, the Republic of Korea (ROK), Thailand, Vietnam and China, scholars and entrepreneurs from Asia, Europe and North America attended the meeting and broadly exchanged their view on the issue of Asia's economy.
Then Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji led a delegation to the meeting. Accompanied by officials and entrepreneurs from their respective countries, the political leaders attending the first annual conference included Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, ROK Prime Minister Lee Han-dong and Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Mguyen Manh Cam. Tung Chee-hwa, chief executive of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and Edmund Ho Hau-wah, chief executive of Macao Special Administrative Region (MSAR) were also present at the meeting. Some former state leaders from the Philippines, Australia, Mongolia, Pakistan, Nepal and Kazakhstan did Boao Forum an honor by attending the meeting.
The theme of the first annual conference was "New Century, New Asia, New Challenge: Asian Regional Development and Cooperation." Then Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji delivered a keynote speech at the opening ceremony and prime ministers from Japan, Thailand and the ROK also addressed the delegates separately at the meeting. The first annual conference focused on such topics as influence of global economic trend on Asia's economy, measures for Asia's economic recovery and cooperation, China's entry into the WTO and Asian economic development. Discussions were held on a wide range of subjects including financial cooperation and regional economic development, sub-regional cooperation, China's economic growth and Asia's common development, China's opening-up and Asia's common development, Asian manufacturing industry and export competitiveness, energy, international investment, environment and sustainable development, the promising Asian financial industry, digital Asia, the globalization and industrialization of the mass media, the development and construction of digital resources.
(Boaoforum.org April 19, 2004)