Themed as ‘Asia and the World: Common Challenges, Shared Responsibilities’, the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) annual conference 2024 concluded Friday, March 29 in Boao, a coastal town in China’s island province of Hainan, with consensus reached on a number of pressing topics.

During the BFA annual conference, several important issues were addressed and discussed by global leaders. These included: global economic recovery; regional conflicts; sustainable development and China’s role in the imbroglio.

The participants acknowledged the sluggish global recovery and explored strategies to stimulate growth and stability. Several key solutions were proposed to address the challenge facing China in particular and the world in general. These include boosting investor confidence; improving the investment ecosystem, enhancing foreign investment attractiveness, advancing financial cooperation in Asia and strengthening industrial and supply chain cooperation.

In the realm of boosting investor confidence, the participants at BFA 2024 discussed strategies to enhance confidence of the investors, which is crucial for economic growth and stability.  

To improve the investment ecosystem, the forum emphasised creating a favourable environment for investments, streamlining regulations, and promoting efficient capital flows.

In order to enhance foreign investment attractiveness, measures were explored to make Asian countries more appealing to foreign investors and encouraging capital inflows.

For advancing financial cooperation in Asia, discussions centred on strengthening financial ties among Asian nations to support the real economy.  

Strengthening Industrial and supply chain cooperation was envisaged through collaborative efforts in a bid to enhance industrial production and supply chain resilience within Asia.

These proposals aimed to foster economic recovery and sustainable development in the region.

During BFA Annual Conference 2024, global leaders aimed to address regional conflicts through collaborative efforts and shared responsibilities. Some of the steps through which the conference sought to tackle this critical issue are shared awareness, collaboration, Asia’s role, China’s contribution and innovation and climate action.

For creating shared awareness, the participants recognised that all countries face common challenges, including regional conflicts. By acknowledging these shared issues, they laid the groundwork for cooperative solutions.

To acquire collaboration, the conference emphasised the importance of working together to better handle challenges. By fostering dialogue and cooperation, leaders aimed to find peaceful resolutions to conflicts.

As far as Asia’s role is considered, the continent was highlighted in sustainable development. By promoting economic growth, stability, and cooperation within the region, the conference aimed to mitigate conflicts.

To highlight China’s contribution, China’s commitment to high-quality development and further opening up positioned it as a significant contributor to global economic growth. This economic strength can play a role in conflict prevention.

The consensus underscored that innovation is essential for development. Additionally, participants emphasized the need to accelerate actions on Climate Change, which can contribute to conflict prevention.

To achieve sustainable development, some key proposals were presented at the BFA Annual Conference 2024.

Addressing the debt crisis was a crucial aspect of sustainable development. Participants discussed measures to prevent and manage debt-related challenges.  

Encouraging investments in projects that promote environmental conservation, social progress, and economic prosperity was emphasized. These investments contribute to long-term sustainability.

Leveraging innovation and technology to drive sustainable development was a recurring theme. Participants explored ways to harness technological advancements for positive impact.

Accelerating actions to combat climate change was a priority. Climate friendly policies, renewable energy adoption, and sustainable practices were discussed.

The forum highlighted the importance of collaboration among governments, businesses, and civil society. Partnerships can amplify efforts towards sustainable development goals.

BFA Annual Conference 2024 emphasised China’s role prominently. A number of significant suggestions came up regarding China’s contributions. China was recognised for its commitment to high-quality development. This approach focuses on sustainable growth, innovation, and improving the overall well-being of its citizens. China’s endeavours to further open up its economy were underscored. By promoting international trade, investment, and cooperation, China aims to create a more interconnected global economy.

China’s economic strength positions it as a significant contributor to global economic growth. Its policies and actions have far-reaching implications for the world economy.

As the world grapples with the aftermath of the pandemic, China’s role in shaping the post-COVID-19 world economy was highlighted. Its resilience and recovery strategies are closely watched by other nations.

In effect, China’s active participation and leadership in addressing global challenges were central themes at the BFA 2024 conference.

The BFA annual conference this year took place from March 26 to 29. It drew about 2,000 delegates from over 60 countries and regions and more than 1,100 journalists from nearly 40 countries and regions.

Founded in 2001, the BFA is a non-governmental and non-profit international organisation committed to promoting regional economic integration and bringing Asian countries closer to their development goals.

At the closing ceremony of the conference, Li Baodong, BFA secretary general, stated: “All parties are more aware of the challenges facing the world today.” He emphasised that all countries are encountering common challenges, including the sluggish global economic recovery and the persistence of regional conflicts. “Only by working together can we better handle the challenges”, he reiterated.

In summary, Li Baodong underscored the importance of collective efforts in tackling global challenges during the BFA Annual Conference 2024.

Pakistan missed the epic event due to being embroiled in domestic turmoil and terror attacks on Chinese engineers working on key Sino-Pakistan energy projects. The delegates from all over the world appreciated the green energy technology, which is integrated into Boao’s Dongyu island, the permanent site of the Boao Forum for Asia in Qinghai, Hainan province.

Rooftop panels, floor tiles and even the curtain wall on the forum’s media centre are photovoltaic. Bustling roads are populated with renewable energy vehicles. Venues and hotel rooms are equipped with innovative water-cooled air-conditioning systems. The Boao near-zero carbon demonstration area, covering 190 hectares on Dongyu island, started construction in 2022 and began operation on March 18, prior to the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference.

In addition to pursuing green electricity supply, the event was focused on reducing energy consumption, particularly in the context of the tropical climate where air-conditioning plays a major role in carbon emissions and energy usage.

The high-efficiency chiller room at the Boao Asia Forum Hotel features rows of silver pipes forming the main air-conditioning system, circulating cold water to distribute cool air across the entire building.

This means that through the integration of advanced emission reduction technologies in energy, construction, transportation and waste treatment, as well as the establishment of forest carbon sinks and offsetting measures, the region can balance carbon dioxide emitted with the amount absorbed.

Hainan aims to use the Boao near-zero carbon demonstration area to showcase its dedication to ecological sustainability and set a high bar for global environmental standards. This enabled the participants from around the globe to see the latest technology in the area that China has to offer.

The key message from Boao Forum from Asia underscores the importance of collective efforts in tackling global issues and fostering cooperation across borders.

In a nutshell, it highlighted that China advocates an equal and orderly multipolar world and a universally beneficial and inclusive economic globalization. China’s commitment to open development, further widening its door to the world was showcased while it was brought out that investing in China is investing in the future as the potential of its super-sized market with over 1.4 billion people will be further unlocked.

The article does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Business Recorder or its owners

S. M. Hali

The writer is a retired Group Captain of PAF, and now a security analyst


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KU Apr 02, 2024 12:49pm
Very informative article, this should have been the main editorial. One would wish sanity for economic revival, but stumped at ''if fools were flowers, it was spring time in our government''.
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