Photo taken on April 19, 2022 shows the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) International Conference Center in Boao, South China's Hainan province. (Photo/Xinhua)
Hainan province will host two subforums on March 29 at the 2023 Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference, according to a news conference held on Wednesday.
One subforum is themed "Global Free Trade Port Development: Institutional Opening-up and Free Trade". It is the third time that the province has held this subforum under the framework of the annual conference. The subforum has invited representatives from Hong Kong, the Jebel Ali Free Zone in Dubai, South Korea's Jeju International Free City, Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone in Cambodia and 20 domestic free trade pilot zones.
It aims to unite domestic and foreign free trade zones and ports to jointly launch an initiative on building a global partnership.
Delegates at the subforum will discuss the roles and functions of the free trade zones and ports in exploring high-standard international economic and trade rules and promoting regional economic integration.
They are also expected to focus on the needs of Hainan's comprehensive customs clearance operation, discuss the effective paths for the province to build a high-level open trade hub, advise on integrating Hainan into the joint development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and comprehensively deepen Hainan's cooperation with Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership members.
Another subforum is themed "Dialogue in Hainan: Tropical Agricultural Cooperation and Prospects between China (Hainan) and ASEAN". Foreign government officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Cambodia, Siem Reap Province of Cambodia, and the Indonesian Embassy in China, and representatives of international organizations such as the ASEAN Secretariat, the World Food Programme, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the International Fund for Agricultural Development have confirmed their participation.
Agriculture is an important area of cooperation between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations countries. High-efficiency agriculture with tropical characteristics is one of the four leading industries in the Hainan FTP, and ASEAN is the province's largest trading partner.
"As ASEAN countries and Hainan are both located in tropical areas, we can discuss and leverage our respective advantages in resource endowment, technology, management and the market," said Wang Lei, deputy director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Hainan Provincial Party Committee.
"We can also make full use of the superimposed effect of the RCEP and free trade port preferential policies, explore policy communication, promote trade and investment, and strengthen scientific and technological support, promote tropical agricultural cooperation and contribute to building a closer China-ASEAN community with a shared future," he added.
To help delegates feel the hospitality and openness of Hainan, this year's forum will demonstrate the island's culture through music, dance, food, clothing, gifts and exhibitions. At the airports and reception hotels in Qionghai city where Boao is located, there will also be specially designed elements to fully display Hainan's cultural characteristics.
This year's annual conference is China's first large-scale international conference held in person after the country downgraded management of COVID-19 to a category B disease in December. It is expected that the number of participants of this year's Boao Forum for Asia will be basically the same as that of 2019 prior to COVID-19, said Wang.