International political leaders and business executives will gather in Hainan, South China, starting from March 26 to share views on economic development and regional cooperation in Asia.
The event will be an important platform for Chinese leaders to explain their development goals and plans to the world, as the country shifts to a new economic model characterized by a slower pace of growth but one of higher quality.
The four-day 2015 Boao Forum for Asia, which will be held in the scenic town in Hainan province with the theme of “Asia’s New Future: Toward a Community of Common Destiny”, is the first top-level multilateral forum in China after the annual sessions of the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference held earlier this month.
More than 70 formal discussions on macroeconomic issues, industrial transformation, regional development, technological innovation, politics and security, and living standards will be held.
President Xi Jinping will welcome leaders from 15 countries and regions and about 200 executives from the world’s top 500 business groups to join the forum, and he will deliver a keynote speech on March 28.
The president is likely to explain how the world’s second-largest economy could transform its growth pattern without a sharp slowdown, analysts said.
To shift to medium-speed growth from the former fast pace, it is necessary to find new sources of momentum for the economy while adjusting its structure, supported by unprecedented reforms.
The leadership stressed during the two sessions that they are confident of achieving this year’s GDP growth target of “around 7 percent” by further boosting market initiatives and reducing red tape.
China’s economic growth slowed to 7.4 percent in 2014, a 24-year low. Economists said that it may continue to decelerate in the current quarter, possibly to less than 7 percent.
Asia and the rest of the world want to hear China’s plans before crafting strategies to adapt to changes, said Ruan Zongze, vice-president of the China Institute of International Studies. “The forum will help increase the transparency of Chinese policies.”
The government hopes to push for the joint construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, as well as promote the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank at the forum.