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Boao Forum to open this weekend (10/31/03)

This weekend, Chinese leaders, prominent Asian politicians, academics and entrepreneurs will meet in Boao, a scenic coastal town and the permanent site of the Boao Forum of Asia (BFA) in south China's Hainan Province, to explore Asian economic integration and other significant issues.

 With the theme "Asia seeking common development through cooperation", the 2003 annual BFA forum is of particular significance since it closely follows the Bali summit meetings of east Asian nations in early October, which with its agreements and cooperation treaties has further promoted Asia's economic integration. 

Experts said the BFA annual conference, as an important platform for exploring Asian issues, will help solve problems in the integration process of Asian economies.

 The conference echoed the series of meetings of east Asian countries' leaders, said BFA Secretary-General Long Yongtu, adding that the meetings from Bali to Boao were conducive in deepening the theme of realizing Asia's common development through economic cooperation. 

 The major topics of this year's forum will be Asia's economy, reviews and outlook for regional economic and trade cooperation in Asia, financial safety and cooperation within Asia, and the Asian development road: balance between economic and social progress.

 Other sub-topics will include economic globalization and industrial division, regional free trade and closer economic ties in Asia, seeking new breakthroughs in financial cooperation in Asia and proposals and measures to push forward Asia's bond market.

Chi Fulin, executive president of the China (Hainan) Reform and Development Research Institute, believed the forum will play a constructive role for Asian governments to achieve cooperative agreements.

  Premier Wen Jiabao will attend the meeting. In the Bali meeting, Wen said China will strengthen cooperation with neighboring countries and deepen regional cooperation to promote Asian economic integration.

   The BFA was formally set up in February 2001 to promote Asian economic cooperation and the integration process.

   The participation of the presidents of Tajikistan and Pakistan and Turkmenistan vice-president for the first time, reflects the willingness of central and southern Asian countries to join east Asian economic cooperation.

   President of the World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab and former US trade representative Charlene Barshefsky will also attend the forum.

   Long Yongtu said that international consensus agreed Asia would be the engine of the world economy in the 21st century. The BFA has become  Asia's most influential economic forum, he said.



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