Anwar to set foot on Chinese soil for first time as PM

HAINAN (China): Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will set foot on Chinese soil as Malaysian Prime Minister for the first time on Wednesday (March 29) when he arrives in the southernmost island province of Hainan to deliver a speech at Asia's annual Boao Forum (BFA).

Anwar is scheduled to share his thoughts at the conference themed "An Uncertain World: Solidarity and Cooperation for Development and Challenges" on Thursday (March 30) morning.

The Prime Minister is scheduled to arrive at the Qionghai Boao International Airport at around 3pm Wednesday with members of his delegation including Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook and Local Government Development Minister Nga Kor Ming.

They will be received by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir, Malaysian Ambassador to China Raja Datuk Nurshirwan Zainal Abidin and Malaysian Consul General to Guangzhou Suraya Ahmad Pauzi.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak was the last Malaysian premier to attend the conference in 2015.

Inaugurated in 2001 in the aftermath of the 1998 Asian Financial Crisis, the BFA is a platform to promote common development through regional economic integration.

Other leaders expected at the BFA this year include Singapore's Lee Hsien Loong, Kazakhstan's Alikhan Smailov, Ivory Coast's Patrick Jerome Achi and Spain's Pedro Sanchez.

Anwar is also expected to hold bilateral meetings with some of his counterparts at the sidelines of the forum.

Among the objectives of the BFA are to help communities build a stronger future through dialogue and exchanges between China and other nations.

The BFA is also expected to look at issues related to development and inclusiveness, efficiency and security, regional and global cooperation, and explore more effective ways to promote international cooperation.

Anwar is also scheduled to hold a meeting with the top leadership of the China's Communication, Construction Company on Wednesday night.

The CCCC is the Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Commissioning (EPCC) contractor for Malaysia's 640km long East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project.

Also on the cards are discussions on ways to move forward with the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic behind us.

There will also be a series of other events during the BFA related to global economic and health development, technology and innovation collaborations and the push for digital transformation, climate change and how to better achieve China's Belt and Road Initiative.

Participants include international organisations, business communities, and academics.

Anwar will leave for Beijing on Thursday afternoon.

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