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Boao Forum for Asia expands island's cooperation

By YUAN SHENGGAO | China Daily | Updated: 2021-04-20

Boao Forum for Asia has become a "gold-lettered signboard" for Hainan to promote opening-up and build a free trade port, said officials from the provincial government.

"The Boao Forum for Asia, which marks its 20th anniversary this year, has provided an important platform and channel for Hainan to comprehensively deepen reform," said Wang Sheng, director-general of the Hainan Provincial Foreign Affairs Office.

"That includes opening-up, promoting foreign exchange and cooperation, expanding the province's 'international circle of friends' and enhancing its international reputation."

Wang said after 20 years of serving the BFA, Hainan has developed an institutional arrangement and service guarantee environment that is in line with international rules.

"We are glad to see the forum has solidified a high-quality foreign affairs human resource team with a clear world vision and strong international insights."

While ensuring quality service for the meeting, Hainan has also been committed to building BFA into an important window to show and practice the idea of a community of shared future for mankind, Wang said. By taking advantage of the BFA resources, Hainan has built a new bridge for exchanges and cooperation between countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative. The bridges have come through the launching of sideline forums including the China-ASEAN Governors and Mayors Dialogue, the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road: Islands Economic Cooperation Forum and a forum themed on the South China Sea, Wang said.

Thanks to the exchanges, Hainan has cooperated with a dozen ASEAN provinces and cities, signing a number of practical economic and trade cooperation agreements. ASEAN has become Hainan's largest trading partner.

The forum provides participants from all countries an opportunity to see the development and changes of Hainan in person while allowing local people to broaden their vision and become more open-minded, said Zhong Yechang, chairman of the Hainan Federation of Social Sciences.

Chi Fulin, head of the Hainan-based China Institute for Reform and Development, said the Boao Forum for Asia has become an important platform for foreign countries to learn about China, and also a platform for China to make friends and transmit information to the international community.

Chi said Hainan can make better use of its status as host of the BFA to deliver more voices and seek more contacts with the outside world to serve the development of the Hainan Free Trade Port.


Boao Forum for Asia plays a key role in Hainan's opening-up to the outside world. MA ZHIPING/CHINA DAILY


Visitors gather at the Boao International Conference Center in Hainan. MA ZHIPING/CHINA DAILY