BEIJING – Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will be among the foreign leaders attending this year’s Boao Forum for Asia, often called Summer Davos, a senior Chinese official said on Tuesday.
Chinese President Xi Jinping will deliver the keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the 2018 BFA, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told media in Beijing.
The BFA was formed by China in 2001 on the lines in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual June meeting, also called Summer Davos.
Xi has invited leaders of the industry from different countries to deliberate on regional and global issues.
This year’s forum, scheduled to be held from April 8 to 11 in Boao, a coastal town in the southern island province of Hainan, will be themed ‘Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity’.
The Boao Forum for Asia is a non-profit organisation that hosts high-level forums for leaders from government, business, and academia in Asia and other continents to share their vision on the most pressing issues in this dynamic region and the world at large.
Modelled after the World Economic Forum held annually in Davos, Switzerland, the Boao Forum has its fixed address in Bo’ao, Hainan province, China, although the Secretariat is based in Beijing.
In this year’s forum, Xi will meet foreign heads of state and government, and officials of international organisations, Wang said.
Apart from Prime Minister Abbasi, other heads of states who are expected to attend the forum include Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
In his address, Xi will focus on showcasing the new measures being initiated by China’s reform and opening-up in the “new era” led by him, Wang said.
Xi who kicked off his second five-year term last month is expected to continue in power for life after the National People’s Congress (NPC) removed the two-term limit for the President followed by Xi’s predecessors.
Regarded as the most powerful Chinese leader, Xi also heads the CPC, the military and the Presidency.
Xi will showcase reform and opening up in the new era and explain how China will promote new policies, Wang said.
Xi will expound on these issues and provide “the most authoritative answers”, he said.
“Participants will hear series of new opening measures that China will take,” Wang said.
Last year, the theme of the annual conference was ‘Globalization and Free Trade: The Asian Perspectives’.