The 2007 annual conference of Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) held in China's Hainan Province concluded successful on Sunday night. With its strongest-ever lineup of entrepreneurs and leading thinkers in its history, the natural media interest it garnered has been a double-edged sword. While its results are praiseworthy, some elements of the press are wondering where the future of the forum lies? Will it exclusively cater to the rich and powerful?
Addressing this fear, BFA Secretary-General Long Yongtu stated that the forum could be judged on two merits, the line-up of participants and the topics discussed. "There are many CEOs and top business leaders here. These naturally attract more media coverage, but our main core of participants hails from SMEs or private companies. Hence every year, we visit many other places in China like Wenzhou, Ningbo, Dongguang and Shunde. I want to meet local entrepreneurs and educate them about the forum. They should feel that the Boao Forum is a place of learning and exchanges with larger successful companies, an experience which could be very positive for their own companies' futures," said Long.
"We invited Bill Gates, not for being the world's richest man, but has put his technology and fortune at the service of the world."
"Many government organizations are working with us on regional economic integration. However, there is a dearth of such organizations focusing their work on entrepreneurs. Thus, the future development of BFA will target enterprises as its main driving force, tackling both international and domestic policies and issues that directly affect them."
In closing, Long also accepted media suggestions that more government officials take part in the event, providing a multi-purpose pulpit that entrepreneurs and policy-makers could both avail themselves of.
(China.org.cn by staff reporter Wang Qian, April 23, 2007)