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Boao Forum Asia opens today

Original article courtesy of Manila, Bulletin

Around 300 Filipino and Chinese business leaders are expected to participate in the first ever Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) in Manila ‪today, April 22.

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Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who is on her second year as member of the Board of the BFA, is set to spearhead the two-day forum which carries the theme: “Concerted Action for Common Development in the New Era.”

It was Arroyo who extended the invitation to the BFA to hold the conference in Manila.

Expected to attend the conference are 100 business leaders from China, some 100 business leaders from Philippines, and some 100 executives from Chinese enterprises in the country,

Senior officials of the Philippine government and business chambers are also expected to address and interact with the audience, it said.

During the conference, the country’s business leaders and their Chinese counterparts are set to “explore the possibility of investing in both the Philippines and China and discuss other future cooperation,” the statement said.

“It will also foster closer ties and create goodwill between the Philippines and China, building on the momentum for cooperation created by President Rodrigo Duterte and President Xi Jinping during his State Visit last November,” it said.

Tonight (April 22), President Duterte will grace the welcome dinner for the BFA participants at the ShangriLa in BGC, Taguig City.

President Duterte and BFA Secretary General Li Badong are expected to deliver the keynote speech.

Members of the Cabinet and several Chinese officials will also take part in the event, which aims at helping the visiting
Chinese entrepreneurs better understand the business environment and related policies of Philippines.

The conference also seeks to introduce BFA to the Philippine government and business community and implement the important consensus reached by top leaders of the two countries and strengthen the alignment of the Belt and Road initiative with the development strategies of the Philippines and ASEAN.

The BFA plenary is set tomorrow (April 23) at 9.30 am at the Grand Ballroom ShangriLa BGC.

Co-sponsoring the conference are the BFA and the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc ((FFCCII), with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT) and the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines as supporting partners.

The BFA, often referred to as the Davos of Asia, has become a high-end platform for dialogs among leaders of national governments, industrial and business circles, and academic circles of countries in Asia and other continents about the important issues in Asia and even the whole world.

BFA is dedicated to promoting Asian countries to achieve common development through further integration of regional economy.

Last month, Arroyo, along with other BFA officers had “valuable” meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during the BFA Annual Convention in Hainan, China.

During the meeting, Arroyo, hailed China’s leadership in promoting the Belt and Road Initiative or the “Globalization V.2” which aims to foster cooperation and development.

She even cited the current Chinese leadership’s implementation of Deng Xiaoping’s socialism with Chinese characteristics.

Arroyo attributed China’s remarkable growth, particularly in the past two decades to “its own model of development using your own historical experience.”

She noted that China showed that no development model can be applied universally and that the diversity of historical conditions determines the development paths that countries could take.

“China has given us the lesson that there is just not one path for development because prior to China’s experience, it was thought that the only way to development is the Western style model of Jeffersonian democracy and coupled with a free market,” Arroyo said.

“But China has shown the world that you can have your own model of development using your own historical experience, especially China in the last 40 years. Since the opening of China 40 years ago, it has transformed itself, it is the world’s leading growth, unmatched in history. 400 million people lifted out from poverty. China is on the verge of becoming the largest economy in the world,” she said.

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