Home / Boao Forum for Asia 2006 / News Updates Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Commoners Hope Boao Conference Would Address Their Concerns
Adjust font size:

The luxuriant five-star hotels with the country's best golf courses that often accommodate celebrities from across the world represent an utterly different lifestyle most commoners think will never become their own.

But that doesn't keep them from pinning hope on this year's Boao Forum for Asia conference that will carry the theme of "new opportunities for Asia".

The forum was proposed by former Australian Prime Minister Robert James Lee Hawke, former President of the Philippines Fidel Ramos, and former Prime Minister of Japan Hosokawa Morihiro in 1998. More than 800 celebrities from the world political, business and academic circles will be participating this year's conference.

The forum has made Boao, a town with 20,000 people, world-famous, but many locals feel it mainly touches upon macro issues and should also attend to more concrete ones, particularly those concerning the commoners' interests.

In fact, for many of them, a new opportunity lies in a job.

"It's getting so difficult to find a job," said Tang Yan, a senior student at Guangxi University. "I hope the delegates at this year's conference will have some good ideas about how to expand the job market."

In China, the growing pressure from the job market has haunted many college students, for whom finding a job was never a problem before the 1990s.

Cutting-edge technologies in the recent decade have made jobs easier but also reduced employment demands and even cost many people their jobs.

Asian Development Bank has warned in a recent report that Asia's policy-makers have to attach equal importance to the employment issue as they do to the regional economic growth. Otherwise, it warns Asia will still be home to the majority of the world's poor in the coming 25 years no matter how fast the regional economy might expand.

This year's Boao Forum for Asia conference, to be held on April 21-23 in the scenic town Boao in China's southernmost island province Hainan, will focus on the trends of the international energy market as energy has been a bottleneck that affects Asia's economic growth, and empties consumers' wallets, too.

"Gasoline and natural gas prices are soaring like crazy," said Qin Yanqing, who lives in a downtown community in the provincial capital Haikou. "I wonder what they will say about the energy issue at the forum. Why are prices always climbing and is it at all possible to ease the burden on us?"

The conference will also touch upon issues relating to China's banking sector reforms, the real estate industry, transnational merging and acquisition and the competitiveness of Asian businesses.

"When they discuss the banking sector, I wonder if they will also introduce new means of personal investment to the commoners," said Deng Zhichao, a native of Haikou. "And I'd like to find out whether foreign banks will offer better services than domestic ones."

Deng, an avid traveler who goes on sightseeing tours abroad almost every year, said he is not at all happy with the heavy expenses for traveling within Asia.

"I'm sure the celebrities attending Boao Forum often travel from one country to another just like we're visiting our next-door neighbors. But will they consider building a common tourism market to make travels within Asia easier and more affordable?"

"You can all see that Hainan is a beautiful place. I hope [the delegates] will also discuss how Hainan should draw more investors from the world -- that will make the forum more appealing to us, too," said Yang Jinrui, manager of a local magazine.

Professor Wen Guofu of Guangxi University for Nationalities, on the other hand, said he hopes the delegates will think from the commoners' perspective in order to find solutions to some concrete issues.

"Many people are worrying about the staggering house prices, for example," said Prof. Wen. "In fact many countries have suffered the consequences of real estate bubbles and their lessons and experiences will be of help if shared with the Chinese."

Wen said he hopes the conference will also discuss issues relating to a new economic zone under construction in Beibu Bay, China's southwest gateway to the South China Sea. "I hope they'll discuss potential cooperation between the new zone and the neighboring countries."

(Xinhua News Agency April 20, 2006)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read

Related Stories
SiteMap | About Us | RSS | Newsletter | Feedback
Copyright © China.org.cn. All Rights Reserved     E-mail: webmaster@china.org.cn Tel: 86-10-88828000 京ICP证 040089号