As the global economy continues to encounter uncertainty and headwinds, government officials and business leaders from Asia vowed at a forum to further deepen cooperation and stay committed to pushing for common development.
The two-day Boao Forum for Asia Seoul Conference kicked off on Nov 19 in South Korea’s capital, attracting over 800 delegates from government, industry and academic institutions to discuss the common welfare of Asian countries and their economic development under the theme of “An Open and Innovative Asia.”
State Councilor Wang Yong said in a keynote speech on Nov 20 that China’s government attaches great importance to the forum, which is seen as a dialogue platform dedicated to promoting common development through regional integration of the Asian economy since its establishment in 2001.
Wang said China is a firm supporter of multilateralism and commits itself to work with its Asian partners in promoting global trade and building an open world economy.
Forum Secretary-General Li Baodong, South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon and former United Nations’ secretary-general and forum Chairman Ban Ki-moon also attended the event.
Ban said at the opening ceremony that Asia and the world are currently facing uncertainties including anti-globalization, protectionism and isolationism.
He noted that Asia should adhere to the values of globalization, free trade and multilateralism through regional cooperation to maintain economic development and serve as a growth engine for the global economy.
As the year 2018 marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up and also the 10th anniversary of the establishment of a strategic partnership between China and South Korea, this event is expected to provide new and greater opportunities for economic and trade cooperation between Beijing and Seoul, as well as the rest of Asia, the organizer said in a statement.
It noted that in April, China unveiled a package of measures aimed at giving foreign investors greater access to China’s markets, including better protection of intellectual property rights, a significant reduction of tariffs on imported vehicles, and an end to restrictions on foreign ownership in the financial sector within three years.
At the first China International Import Expo earlier this month, China not only offered overseas traders direct access to its domestic markets, but also demonstrated its commitment to further opening-up.
Looking ahead, countries in the region need to uphold the spirit of openness and cooperation, and join hands to facilitate regional economic integration and safeguard multilateralism as well as the rule-based global trading system to ensure common development, according to the statement.