The Boao Forum said yesterday it would host the World Logistics Conference in Shenzhen next month. Long Yongtu , head of the forum, said the event would give Shenzhen an opportunity to present its ideas for developing the logistics industry. He said a number of world experts in the field would attend the conference. The event, beginning on December 11, will be attended by former British prime minister John Major, former Australian prime minister Bob Hawke, as well as business leaders. Mr Long said the Boao Forum was widely supported by the business community. 'We have no trouble getting commercial sponsorship. Some say it is only because of my connections that the Boao Forum still survives. But that is not true. Business and companies are lining up to be our partner,' he said. The Boao Forum for Asia, formed in 2001, has received considerable support from the central government, which has hoped the event would become a prime venue for Asian countries to discuss economic and social development. But scholars and observers said the forum was running out of steam. Fewer and fewer national leaders attend the meetings each year. 'China wants to take a leading role in organising dialogue among Asian countries. But the Boao Forum has not been very successful,' said Joseph Cheng Yu-shek, a political scientist from the City University of Hong Kong. He added that the forum now needed to host more business activities. 'There are too many such meetings. We have the Asean, the Apec and other similar summits. It is too difficult to persuade world leaders to participate in another one,' he said. 'China has failed to attract endorsement from other powers.'