Environment-friendly economic growth

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 April, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 21 April, 2006, 12:00am

World political and business leaders and opinion-makers are again descending on the island province of Hainan for the three-day Boao Forum for Asia, which starts on Friday.

On Saturday, Vice-President Zeng Qinghong will deliver a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the forum, dubbed the Asian version of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Mr Zeng is expected to reassure China's Asian neighbours that the country is not a threat, despite its growing economic and political power. He is also expected to explain China's efforts to pursue a more sustainable economic growth model by balancing the pursuit of economic growth with the needs for environmental protection. Mr Zeng is also expected to call for further co-operation and economic integration among Asian countries, promising that China will play an active role in the process.

The forum, which is entering its fifth year, has become one of China's premier platforms to reach out to the international business community and showcase the mainland's most recent political and economic developments.

As in previous years, the event has drawn a number of heads of state and senior foreign government ministers. Those who have said they would attend this year are Joseph Urusemal, President of Micronesia; Janez Drnovek, President of Slovenia; Ratnasiri Wickremanayaka, Sri Lanka's Prime Minister, and Jusuf Kalla, Vice-President of Indonesia.

Other scheduled speakers are Toshihiro Nikai, Japan's Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry; George Yeo Yong-boon, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Singapore, and Kim

Hyun-chong, South Korea's Minister

for Trade.

China's economic rise and its impact worldwide has been one of the most widely discussed among economic developments. This year's sessions cover a wide range of themes, including China's efforts to rebalance its economic imperatives, its booming property market and the information technology market.

This special supplement has sampled several key speakers at the forum, including Mary Ma, chief financial officer of the Lenovo Group; Stephen Roach, chief economist at Morgan Stanley, and Chen Huai, director-general of the Ministry of Construction's research centre.