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BFA Aims to Be World-Class: Secretary-General

The Boao Forum for Asia (BFA), which ended its annual conference in Boao, Hainan Sunday afternoon, is expected to develop into a world-class forum through progress by taking three substantial measures, Long Yongtu, secretary-general of the BFA from China, said Monday.  

The BFA, which began in Boao, in China's southernmost Hainan Province, in 2001, is a non-governmental and non-profit international organization.


First, the forum will follow conventional international rules and practices in organizing to meet demands of delegates of all levels and from all walks of life and sectors, Long said. For example, it will arrange more small discussions and seminars between business leaders and between businessmen and politicians.


This will help enterprises seek business ties and opportunities and also enable the forum to serve as a high-level platform for business negotiations and talks, according to the general-secretary.


Second, the forum will hold a series of special meetings in the future, to let Asia and the world as well to hear voices from the BFA all the time, the secretary general said, adding that the BFA has planned an Asian development and cooperation summit in June, an international energy forum in July, the Asian education forum in August and the world tourism conference in September.


In order to engage in more Asian countries and regions, the forum will especially hold some meetings held in West Asia, Central Asia and South Asia to expand its influence in these regions.


According to Long, the timetables for some BFA meetings have been made, including on international energy forum in Tehran, Iran, in June, the meeting of the BFA Board of Directors in Almaty, Kazakstan, in September and the entrepreneurs summit in India in November.


Third, Long said the BFA will increase cooperation with Chinese and foreign think-tanks and strategic research bodies to form an excellent intelligence supportive network for the forum.


Moreover, he noted that the BFA has signed an agreement with the World Bank, which will offer US$1.25 million to help the BFA's international intelligence network be well established. The China (Hainan) Reform and Development Research Institute will carry out routine research work for the BFA, Long added.


Long announced that members of the BFA Board of Directors have reached the consensus to set a fixed date for the forum's annual conference, on the third weekend of each April.


More than 1,000 senior statesmen, scholars and business leaders from Asia and other parts of the world attended the two-day BFA annual conference 2004, which started Saturday morning in Boao.


Chinese President Hu Jintao delivered a keynote speech at the opening session.


Long Yongtu said there is still a long way to go for the forum to become an internationally influential event, but the orientation of its development has been set.


The BFA was officially established in February 2001 and the first annual conference was held in April, 2002.


(Xinhua News Agency April 27, 2004)

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