Globalization and free trade will continue to top the agenda for this year's annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia, which focuses on solving the shared problems facing the Asia-Pacific region, the secretary-general of the forum said on Thursday.
In a world with a rising anti-globalization mentality and trade protectionism, the region needs open, coordinated, inclusive and balanced development more than ever before, said Zhou Wenzhong, secretary-general of the BFA at a news conference held in Beijing.
"We need to broaden the depth and breadth of regional cooperation in a way that would lead to a more open and better-coordinated Asia," Zhou said.
This year also marks the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening-up, and the world is eager to hear more details of China's further reform agenda, which was mapped out by the 19th CPC National Congress, he said.
This year's annual conference will be held in Boao, Hainan province, from April 8 to 11, with the opening ceremony scheduled on April 10.
"An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity" will be the theme of the conference, which will include more than 60 sessions, according to Zhou.
The forum will be divided into four segments: Globalization & the Belt and Road Initiative, An Open Asia, Innovation, and Reform.
There will also be sessions specifically addressing topics relating to the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, the Xiongan New area and China's ecological civilization strategy.
"We are very proud to have contributed to the development of the bilateral relation between China and Australia, which have been extremely successful for the benefit of both economies," said Alison Terry, group manager of corporate affairs of Australia-based Fortescue Metals Group Ltd, one of the sponsors for the forum.
"FMG is strongly focused on successful trade with China and we look forward to continued strength in the mutually beneficial business and trade relations between China and Australia," she said.