Manila hosts Boao Forum for 1st time
MANILA, Philippines — For the first time, Manila will be hosting on Monday and Tuesday the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA), a high-level regional gathering of business leaders dubbed the “Davos of Asia,” according to House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The event shall have the theme “Concerted Action for Common Development in the New Era,” bringing together the country’s business leaders and their Chinese counterparts to “explore the possibility of investing in both the Philippines and China and discuss other future cooperation,” Arroyo said in a statement.
The former President, who extended the invitation to bring the Boao Forum to Manila, said the event would foster closer ties and create goodwill between Manila and Beijing, building on the momentum created during the state visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping last November.
Arroyo is a member of the board of Boao Forum.
The conference, according to the statement, will convene approximately 300 participants, including some 100 business leaders from China, another 100 from the Philippines, and 100 executives from Chinese enterprises based in the Philippines.
President Rodrigo Duterte will deliver the keynote speech during the welcome dinner at 6:30 p.m. at the Grand Ballroom of Shangri La at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City.
Boao secretary general Li Badong is expected to attend as well.
Members of the Philippine Cabinet and several Chinese officials are also taking part in the event, according to Arroyo.
The Speaker said the conference was aimed at helping the visiting Chinese entrepreneurs better understand the business environment and related policies of the Philippines.
The Boao Forum and the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc. will sponsor the conference.
The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. and the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines are supporting partners.
‘Davos of Asia’
Arroyo said the Boao Forum was “often referred to as the Davos of Asia,” as it had become a “high-end platform for dialogues 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.”
The conference, according to the Speaker, “is dedicated to promoting Asian countries to achieve common development through further integration of regional economy.”
The forum was initiated in 1998 by Fidel V. Ramos, former President of the Philippines; Bob Hawke, former prime minister of Australia; and Morihiro Hosokawa, former prime minister of Japan.
The founding of the BFA was driven by the People’s Republic of China and founded by 26 Asian and Australasian states on February 27, 2001.
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