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Speaking at a the closing press conference of the BFA Annual Conference 2018, Zhou Wenzhong, secretary-general of the BFA, stressed that the year’s forum has achieved a marvelous consensus on promoting globalization and strengthening regional cooperation.

The forum brought together leaders in government, business and academia to discuss the Asia’s future. More than 2,000 participants, 260 speakers and over 1,000 journalists had a friendly exchange of views on the Globalization and the Belt and Road Initiative, Opening-up, Innovation as well as Structural Reform in 65 panel discussions and put forward valuable proposals during the year’s conference.

Participants agreed that globalization and free trade are irreversible, conforming to the common interests of Asia and the whole world. Chinese President Xi Jinping's speech was the keynote of the annual conference, inspiring people around the world to work together to a community with a shared future for humanity and make Asia and the whole world peaceful and prosperous.

Furthermore, Zhou Wenzhong highlighted the fact that the successful accomplishment of BFA today has depended upon the development of Asia. Therefore, Boao Forum for Asia is aimed at building “an international platform in which Asia is able to reach a consensus and make its voice heard”.

Zhou Wenzhong, Secretary General of Boao Forum for Asia (BFA), held a press conference in BFA Media Centre, Seagull Hall, ahead of the annual conference’s opening in Hainan on April 8.

“Asia’s economic aggregate has been accounted for approximately 40% of the world’s total, and contributed nearly one-third to global economic growth. However, given the fact that anti-globalization and trade protectionism are on the rise, Asia’s economy might be losing its momentum. So it is the critical time that we need to review the past and discuss prospects for openness and innovation in Asia, thus exploring the new impetus to economic growth,” Zhou said.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening-up policy. As such, it is an important year to be commemorated as well as to review China's successful experience over the past four decades and discuss new possibilities for China's growth.

The topics of discussion at the year’s sub-forums will focus on four aspects, comprising of Globalization & the Belt and Road Initiative, An Open Asia, Innovation, and Structural Reform.

In addition, three flagship reports of the BFA on the Progress of Asian Economic Integration, Development of Emerging Economies, as well as the Competitiveness of Asian Economies were released at the press conference of the BFA annual conference.

The report, titled “the BFA Asian Competitiveness Annual Report 2018," suggested that with the continuing integration of Asian economies, the Asian economic competitiveness had gone through a steady development in 2017, which led the world economy with its strong economic growth.

The major emerging market economies, defined by the forum as “E11”, refer to the 11 major economies in the Group of 20, namely, Argentina, Brazil, and the People’s Republic of China, India, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Turkey. E11 has performed a stable economic growth over the past years. It can be predicted that the E11 will achieve a growth at approximately 5.1% in the upcoming year, according to the Development of Emerging Economies Annual Report 2018.

As the Progress of Asian Economic Integration Annual Report 2018 demonstrated, although the globalization is partially suffering setbacks, Asia’s trade and investment experienced a recovery in 2017. It should be cautioned that Asia’s economy is still far less than that in the pre-financial crisis period. This could be attributed to the declining interdependence among Asian countries in the Global Value Chain and feeble development of Asia’s internal market.

The annual conference of the BFA, 2018 edition, has already been commenced since yesterday. The total number of delegates at this annual meeting will be more than 2000, coming from 63 countries and regions, of which 1645 (accounted for 82%) are represented by the business leaders and professionals from 72 out of Fortune Global 500. There were also more than 1700 registered media members, about 240 media organizations from 43 countries and regions.

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