On 9-11 April, 2018, the Boao Forum For Asia Annual Conference took place in Bo'ao, Hainan Province, China. The forum theme was An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity.
The official opening ceremony was addressed by Chinese President Xi Jinping. "China will firmly adhere to its fundamental policy of openness to the outside world. The doors of China's openness will never close; they will only open more widely," Xi Jinping said. The Chinese president also announced a number of new measures to promote foreign capital access to China's market, which the Chinese authorities intend to implement this year as part of a policy of reforms and openness. Xi Jinping reaffirmed that regardless of the level China will reach in its development, it will never be a threat to others, will never destabilise the existing world order or strive for establishing spheres of influence.
The forum opening ceremony was also addressed by the presidents of Austria and the Philippines and the prime ministers of the Netherlands, Mongolia, Pakistan and Singapore, as well as the UN Secretary-General and IMF Managing Director.
SCO Deputy Secretary-General Vladimir Potapenko took part in the forum.
As part of the forum, a roundtable discussion, Innovations, Development and the Future of Asian Regional Cooperation, was held with the participation of the heads of Asia's regional organisations.
Vladimir Potapenko told roundtable participants about preparations for the SCO Summit in June of this year and about the organisation's cooperation with the UN and its specialised agencies. He noted that despite the distinctions and variations in focus of the activities of international regional organisations both within their areas of competence and outside them, despite differences in their organisational structures, an essential unifying factor is their interest in securing peace and stability, which is necessary for the successful implementation of long-term goals."
The roundtable participants included Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Chen Xiaodong, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Liu Zhenmin, ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi, Executive Director of the Secretariat of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia Gong Jianwei, Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat Secretary-General Lee Jong-heon, Secretary-General of the Provisional Secretariat of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue Bundit Limschoon, Secretary General of the ASEAN-China Centre (ACC) Yang Xiuping, President of China Institute of International Studies (CIIS) Qi Zhenhong, Assistant Professor at Goa University Dattesh D. Parulekar, Director of Asia Pacific Department at China Institute of International Studies Liu Qing, and others.
The Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) was established in 2001 with support from the Chinese authorities to provide a high-end Asian platform for discussions similar to the World Economic Forum in Davos. The annual BFA conferences are attended by incumbent and former heads of state and government, prominent politicians and academics, as well as top managers from major international and national corporations. They discuss a wide range of issues pertaining to global economic and political development as well as other areas. In 2018, UN former secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was elected board chairman of the Boao Forum for Asia.