Ban Ki-moon to head China’s Boao Forum for Asia, think tank modelled after World Economic Forum

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Beijing | Published: April 9, 2018 7:40:25 PM

Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was today elected as the new chairman of the Boao Forum for Asia, in a diplomatic boost to the think-tank modelled after the World Economic Forum which is held annually in Davos.

Ban Ki moon, UN Secretary General, Boao Forum, ASIA, davos, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General, Xi JinpingBan replaces former Japanese prime minister Yasuo Fukuda, state-run Xinhua news agency said. (Reuters)

Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was today elected as the new chairman of the Boao Forum for Asia, in a diplomatic boost to the think-tank modelled after the World Economic Forum which is held annually in Davos. Ban replaces former Japanese prime minister Yasuo Fukuda, state-run Xinhua news agency said. His appointment took place during the four-day annual session of Forum which started yesterday. Over 2,000 officials and business leaders from Asia and around the world are taking part in the meeting.

Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde are attending this year’s Forum at the invitation of China.

President Xi Jinping will address the Forum tomorrow during which he is expected to unveil new measures concerning China’s opening up and reform as well as his vision for the world. Ban, who was the UN Secretary General from 2007 to 2016, was expected to elevate the global profile of the BFA.

The Federation of Chambers of Commerce of India (FICCI) is one of the founding members of BFA and famous Industrialist Ratan Tata was one of the board members. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong was appointed BFA secretary-general, said a statement released after the meeting of the newly elected Board of Directors of BFA, which was held during the ongoing BFA annual conference. China’s former central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan was designated as China’s chief representative to BFA.

According to the BFA Charter, Zhou is ex-officio member of the Board of Directors and vice chair of BFA. Of the 19-member BFA Board of Directors, 12 are newly elected, including Ban, Zhou and Li. Other new directors are former senior government officials, business leaders, or other eminent persons from Asia and around the world.

Founded in 2001, BFA meets every year around this time. This year’s BFA conference, which runs from April 8 to 11 in Boao, a town in the southern island province of Hainan, has the theme featuring ‘An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity’.

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