PM arrives in Hainan ahead of Boao Forum speaking engagement


HAINAN (China): Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has arrived in the southern China island province on his maiden visit to the republic as Prime Minister.

He will attend the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA), likened by some to Asia's version of the Davos World Economic Forum.

A special aircraft carrying the Prime Minister touched down at the Qionghai Boao International Airport at 5.30pm.

Present to welcome the Premier and his delegation was Hainan vice governor Chen Huaiyu.

Also present were Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir, Malaysian Ambassador to China Raja Datuk Nurshirwan Zainal Abidin and Malaysian Consul General to Guangzhou Suraya Ahmad Pauzi.

Anwar, who is scheduled to speak at the plenary session on Thursday (March 30), was accompanied by Transport Minister Anthony Loke and Local Government Development Minister Nga Kor Ming.

The BFA was established in 2001 to promote economic integration across Asia and help build a community with a shared future by facilitating dialogue and exchanges between China and other nations.

The BFA is a non-governmental and non-profit international organisation initiated by 29 member states and Boao is the permanent venue for the annual conference.

China's new Premier Li Qiang is scheduled to attend and address the forum themed "An Uncertain World: Solidarity and Cooperation for Development amid Challenges" on Thursday.

Apart from Anwar, other leaders expected at the BFA are Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Spain's Pedro Sanchez, Ivory Coast's Patrick Jerome Achi and Kazakhstan's Alikhan Smailov.

Anwar is also expected to hold bilateral meetings with Lee before attending the forum.

International Monetary Fund managing director Kristalina Georgieva is also expected to be present at the event which ends on Friday.

Four main topics to be discussed at the BFA are development and inclusiveness, efficiency and security, regional and global matters, and international cooperation.

The BFA will also discuss the new landscape for the industrial supply chain with some of China's companies relocating to South-East Asia and South Asia and in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Also on the cards are the continued sharing of opportunities under the Belt and Road Initiative and measures to deepen cooperation and push for digital transformation amidst the global economic downturn.

The participants include international organisations, business people and academics.

Anwar will leave for Beijing on Thursday afternoon for the second leg of his visit.

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