Philippine official says Boao Forum to address challenges for Asia's growth

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A senior Philippine official said on Friday that the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) is an important dialogue platform because it focuses on the challenges facing Asia and how Asia can contribute to world prosperity.

"It's very important to dialogue at this moment wherein the international economy is indeed facing certain challenges," Philippine Foreign Undersecretary Manuel Teehankee told a press conference at the Malacanang presidential palace.

Teehankee told Xinhua that the BFA ensures "that Asia is at the forefront of economic growth and assures to the Asian peoples a unified approach to economic development, addressing the fact that the target is indeed inclusive growth and zero poverty for all of Asia."

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will visit Boao, a town in China's southern island province of Hainan on April 9-10 and will give a speech at the BFA, an international dialogue platform for Asia Pacific countries and other partner nations and organizations from all over the globe.

"The president sees the goals of the forum as parallel and complementary to his own vision of a developed Philippines and a more prosperous Filipino nation, as well as a more prosperous ASEAN economic region," Teehankee, said, referring to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

He said Duterte looks forward to actively engaging his counterparts to create positive outcomes that will benefit the Filipino people and the Asia-Pacific in general.

When addressing the forum, Duterte will bring up the topic of "inclusive growth for all," Teehankee said.

The theme of this year's BFA is "An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity."

Proposed in 1998 by Fidel V. Ramos, former President of the Philippines, Bob Hawke, former Prime Minister of Australia, and Morihiro Hosokawa, former Prime Minister of Japan, BFA was formally inaugurated on Feb. 27, 2001.

China serves as the permanent site of BFA headquarters. Since 2002, BFA has been holding its annual conference in Boao.

After 17 years of development, BFA has become a high-end dialogue platform for governments, enterprises, experts, scholars and business leaders to jointly discuss the economy, society, environment, new high-tech, innovation, financial reforms, investment, trade and other issues essential to the future of Asia.

Duterte's attendance at the BFA will be his third visit to China since he assumed the presidency in 2016.

He first visited China in October 2016. In May 2017, Duterte made his second visit to China to attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.