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Manufacturers, Exporters, Wholesalers - Global trade starts here.

What Can Boao Do for Asia's Economic Integration?

Discussing Asian affairs, serving Asian interests---these are the goals set for the Boao Forum for Asia ever since it was set up three years ago. As people become more aware of the importance of Asia's economic integration, the forum has naturally adopted the subject as a top agenda during this year's discussions. How can the forum help in this integration process? 


There is already no need to talk about whether or not Asia should embrace economic integration. The question is how. As both Europe and Americas have started their integration process long time ago, Asia feels left behind.

This year, organizers of the Boao forum have invited two important figures to shed light on this issue. President of Czech Republic Vaclav Klaus will talk about the economic integration of the European Union, and former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo, as a key founder of North America Free Trade Agreement, will certainly provide Asia with valuable experiences of North American economic integration.


As a matter of fact, the role the Boao forum can play can be seen from the wide representation of delegates, as founder of the forum -- former Philippine President Fidel Ramos explains.


"Boao forum for Asia has brought together economic, intellectual and political heavyweights under one umbrella, esp. China, Japan, India, ASEAN,and Central Asia."


The organizers of the Boao forum hope that the conference will address and help solve some real problems existing in Asia's economic integration. One specific session will be dedicated to the question of how to build up an effective supply chain. Secretary-General of the forum, Long Yongtu, says this is important because Asia is becoming a large manufacturing base for the world, and Asian countries should work to contribute to this effective chain.


"An integrated supply chain will surely promote talks among Asian countries on economic integration. If Asia can achieve zero tariffs among itself, it will very likely become the manufacturing center for the world."


Long Yongtu emphasized that governments can play a role in the regional economic integration, but market forces may be, and should be, a larger motivation and force to propel the process. He's glad that Boao forum has become a platform where great minds are gathered to envision and facilitate a bright future for Asia.


(CRI April 25, 2004)



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