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BFA 2006 Focuses on China Issues

Seeking new opportunities for Asian economic development, the 850-odd delegates attending an Asia-oriented forum will focus their discussions on many hot issues concerning China.

Of all the confirmed topics for the three-day meeting, reforms of China's state-owned enterprises, further opening of the market and new opportunities the reforms may bring to Asia and the world are under the spotlight of the annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA), held in Boao in south China's Hainan Province.

This year is considered a crucial year for China's reform and opening-up as it is the last year of the transition period after China's accession to the World Trade Organization.

The banking, telecommunication, energy, automobile, real estate and many other industries will open further to foreign investors this year.

In addition, China will continue to improve its floating RMB exchange rate mechanism.

The Chinese government is also taking efforts to create a fair market environment for state-owned enterprises and private companies through mergers and acquisitions.

China's reform policies will not only play key roles in its own social and economic development, but also exert a huge influence on the social and economic development of other Asian countries, said experts with the accountancy and consulting group Deloitte, which participated in the topic design of the 2006 annual meeting of BFA.

Most of the BFA members had expressed their strong interests in China-related topics and proposed that the issues should be included in the discussions, said Long Yongtu, BFA secretary-general.

China's economic development has been on a fast track since it adopted the opening-up policy in 1978. China's role in boosting Asian and world economic growth is widely recognized.

Research by the institute of BFA shows that China's development offers a huge market for both developing and developed countries. Many Asian countries have benefited from the increasing volume of exports to China.

Statistics from the General Administration of Customs of China show that the import from Malaysia increased by 6.78 times over the past decade, the most rapid rate among other Asia countries.

Meanwhile, China's import structure has been transformed from mainly primary products to high value-added electronic accessories.

In its newly-published "Diplomatic Blue Paper", the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its warm welcome to China's growth as a main economic entity, admitting that Japan itself can benefit from China's development.

The export volume from Japan to China, although registering the slowest growth rate in Asia, increased by 2.56 times between 1995-2005.

The annual trade volume between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) increased by 20 percent since the 1980s. The bilateral trade volume hit a record 130 billion U.S. dollars in 2005, an increase of 30 percent from that of 2002.

"Foreign financial institutions will have new business opportunities in the banking, energy, automobile, real estate and other sectors in China," said Long Yongtu, stressing that "the opportunities are not only belong to Asia, but also to the world".

(Xinhua News Agency April 22, 2006)

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