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BFA 2006 Annual Conference Concludes in Hainan
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The Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) 2006 concluded on Sunday afternoon in Boao, a coastal town in south China's Hainan Province.

BFA Secretary-General Long Yongtu said the annual conference had successfully promoted its core ideas of peaceful development, harmonious co-existence and cooperation, particularly among the Asian countries.

Some 850 delegates from 39 countries or regions exchanged views on major international topics such as energy and the World Trade Organization Doha round talks, Long said.

The non-government forum attracted more business people from both home and abroad this year than previous years. Three quarters of the delegates were from business circles and the number of overseas delegates exceeded that of domestic participants.

The forum also promoted exchanges between related governments and companies. Chinese Vice-President Zeng Qinghong attended the opening ceremony of the conference on Saturday and delivered a keynote speech, vowing that China would work with other Asian countries to realize prosperity and harmony.

The BFA arranged more than 100 meetings or round-table discussions between government officials and business people over the three days, said Long, adding that the forum also arranged discussions on issues such as education, culture, health-care and environmental protection.

The forum also organized for the first time a round-table meeting for business people from both sides of the Taiwan Straits, said Long.

Through the conference, the BFA also enhanced cooperation with other international organizations such as the World Bank and the Asia Development Bank, Long said.

The forum was initiated by former President of the Philippines Fidel Ramos, former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke and former Japanese Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa in 1998.

Ramos and Hawke spoke highly of the 2006 conference, saying it had helped to promote regional cooperation and would have a long-term impact on Asia's development.

(Xinhua News Agency April 24, 2006)

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