Published: 14:48, March 28, 2023 | Updated: 21:22, March 28, 2023
Boao Forum 2023 highlights global economic governance
By Liu Yifan

Li Baodong, secretary general, Boao Forum for Asia and former vice minister of foreign affairs, China, speaks at BFA Annual Conference 2023 Press Conference and Launch of Annual Reports. (PHOTO / BFA ANNUAL CONFERENCE)

The Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2023 Forum (BFA), a China-led equivalent to Davos, kicked off Tuesday on the tropical island of Hainan and will run through Friday, underlining the region’s economic integration as a standout amid the global slowdown. 

“In the face of changes in a turbulent environment, Asian countries have risen to the challenge and turn out to be a reliable driving force for global growth and an important support for multilateralism,” Li Baodong, secretary general of Boao Forum for Asia, told a press conference. “Asia will be a bright spot in 2023 in light of a slowing global economy.”

Chinese Premier Li Qiang will attend the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum and deliver a keynote speech on March 30

According to the Boao Forum’s annual economic summary released at the press conference, Asia’s weighted real GDP growth is expected to reach 4.5 percent this year, up from 4.2 percent in 2022.

READ MORE: CE to attend Boao Forum to promote HK

“Asia is a staunch defender of multilateralism and an active promoter of global economic governance. Since the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership entered into force one year ago, the benefits of institutional opening up of trade and investment in the region have been increasingly evident,” Li said. 

“Confronting geopolitical conflicts and deglobalization, Asia has become more proactive in global economic governance. G20 leaders have gathered in Asia for two consecutive years, marking an ‘Asia moment’ in global governance,” he added.

Under the theme "An Uncertain World: Solidarity and Cooperation for Development Amid Challenges", the Boao gathering this year is being attended by representatives in person for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, bringing together about 2,000 representatives from more than 50 countries and regions. 

Among the more notable guests who will join the Davos-like forum this week are Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Kristalina Georgieva.

READ MORE: Boao Forum for Asia to hold conference over March 28-31

Chinese Premier Li Qiang will attend the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum and deliver a keynote speech on March 30.

This photo shows BFA Annual Conference 2023 Press Conference. (PHOTO / BFA ANNUAL CONFERENCE)

The world will be keen to learn about any new action plans China has to open up its economy and financial markets, given its promise to promote high-quality development. 

Officials in the past have announced major opening-up policies during the Boao Forum, including the establishment and expansion of the stock connect program that links mainland exchanges with Hong Kong.