From Davos to Boao, Asia & PGMA make their mark
BOAO, China (21 April) -- From the snowy mountain resort of Davos in Switzerland to this tropical seaside paradise off the island province of Hainan, there is but one growing concern which movers and shakers of the world’s economy have been trying to address: how to make the world a better place to live in.
This former fishing village, with its generous sunshine, fresh air and scenic beaches has slowly developed in the last five years as a sprawling coastal resort due mainly to the annual Boao Economic Forum for Asia which has made it a permanent venue for the yearly conference since 2000.
The 86-square-kilometer tropical town with a population of 15,000 is in the spotlight anew as 1,300 political, business and cultural celebrities from all over the world, including President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, are attending the three-day forum which kicked off Friday.
The President, who was a big hit as speaker in the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos early this year, has been asked to participate anew in the opening plenary session of the Boao Forum along with Microsoft chair Bill Gates, Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus and Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz.
Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesperson Ignacio R. Bunye said the President brings to the Forum her expertise and strong grasp of regional and geo-political matters in her capacity as President and as Chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
The topic of the opening plenary session is "Asia Driving Global Growth." Themes that run throughout the agenda include Asian economic dynamism and the need for innovation tempered by the recognition of the need for sustainable development including energy efficiency.
The Boao Forum for Asia is viewed as a platform for exchange of views among top leaders of government and businesses, aimed at providing decision makers with opportunities to have in-depth discussion and understanding of the most critical issues on the region's evolving agenda of sustained growth.
It also lists Wu Bangguo, chairman, Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of the People's Republic of China as a keynote speaker, and former President Fidel Ramos and Chey Tae Won, chairman of SK Group as individuals offering opening remarks.
The forum has geared up the local exhibition sector as more than 400 domestic and international conferences and exhibitions have been held here since 2000, said Wang Huiya, secretary of Boao's Committee of the Chinese Communist Party.
The forum has also changed the life-style of local residents, as many rural labors are running restaurants and hotels or seeking job opportunities in urban areas, hosting an average of 5,000 tourists on a daily basis. (PIA) [top]