Boao Forum For Asia Coming

New Delhi, Nov 9: | Updated: Nov 10 2003, 05:30am hrs
Boao Forum for Asia, organised at a tiny Chinese village in Hainan province two years back to counter Eurocentric Davos conference of World Economic Forum (WEF), is on its way to India. In 2004, Boao Forum in association with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (Ficci) is likely to counter the India Economic Summit organised by WEF and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) combine.

We are planning to bring the spirit of Boao summit to India as an expression of our Look East policy, which is a major success, Ficci secretary general Amit Mitra told FE immediately after his return from Boao Forums annual conference held in November first week. According to an industry source, Boao Forum for Asia secretary general Long Yongtus likely visit to India in December 2003 will help firm up the proposed move.

In the short span of two years, Boao Forum has been globally recognised as a global event of significance. This has been affirmed by no less than WEF president Klaus Schwab. We need multi-stakeholder platforms that can bring together all the key decision-makers to improve the state of the world. The World Economic Forum is such a platform and the Boao Forum is also such a platform: providing a framework not just for dialogue but for a process of jointly defining the challenge, jointly determining objectives and if possible, jointly creating solutions, Prof Schwab said at a plenary session on November 2. Other speakers of the session, chaired by Ficci president AC Muthiah, included Republic of Korea deputy prime minister Kim Jin-Pyo, Hong Kong SAR chief executive Tung Chee-Hwa, World Bank vice president Jemal-ud-din Kassum and Sumitomo Corporation (Japan) chairman Kenji Miyahara.

Representatives of India Inc who visited Boao Forum opine that Boao Forum has a clear mandate, i.e., development of Asia and it is Asia- centric based on a win-win model. WEF appears to have a Eurocentric perspective. Only now it has beginning to include the voices of others. Whereas Boao Forum is the voice of developing nations. This may partly be the reason why Boao Forum did not face any demonstration by NGOs unlike Davos, Dr Mitra said. Ficci is one of the two initial members of Boao Forum. The other member is the Centre for Chinese Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University. A country can have only two representatives in the forum.

The forum has 24 countries as members. In the forum, India was represented by former prime minister IK Gujral, besides Ficci president AC Muthiah, its senior vice president Onkar Kanwar and Ficci IT committee chairman Saurabh Srivastava and the Centre for Chinese Studies M Mohanti.