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Xi to make key speech at Boao Forum for Asia
2022-04-21 09:41:12

Annual event kicks off with report highlighting prospects for continent's economic growth

Photo taken on April 19, 2022 shows the Boao Forum for Asia International Conference Center in Boao, South China's Hainan province. The BFA will hold its annual conference from April 20 to 22 in Boao, a coastal town in China's southernmost province of Hainan. [Photo/Xinhua] 

President Xi Jinping will attend the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2022 via video link on Thursday and deliver a keynote speech, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying announced on Wednesday.

It will be the sixth time Xi has delivered a keynote speech at the event, held in Boao, Hainan province.

This year's forum opened on Wednesday with the publication of its annual report on the economic outlook for Asia and progress in integration.

It said that Asia's economic growth this year is likely to be lower than the International Monetary Fund's forecast of 5.2 percent and higher than the predicted global output growth rate of 4.4 percent.

The report said the Asian economy will remain in the process of recovery this year, and there will be moderate growth amid mounting pressures from the COVID-19 pandemic, geopolitical tensions, monetary policy adjustments in the United States and Europe, and rising commodity prices.

Zhang Yuyan, director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of World Economics and Politics, said on Wednesday that the Asian economy is projected to sustain its recovery, and its annual growth rate may reach 4.8 percent this year, mainly aided by the growth of China's economy.

Despite the resurgence in COVID-19 cases, the Russia-Ukraine conflict and rising commodity prices clouding Asia's economic outlook, East and South Asian economies, such as those in China, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and India, are estimated to see a faster pace of economic recovery than the global level, said Li Baodong, secretary-general of the Boao Forum for Asia.

Asian economies will remain the ballast for the world economy and a "booster" for multilateral cooperation, Li added.

"With the recovery of the global economy, international trade and investment resumed their growth in 2021," the report said.

"Trade and investment in Asia achieved a bigger rebound in the year, and its share in global trade and investment further increased."

Citing the IMF's calculation, the report said the weighted real GDP growth of Asian economies in 2021 was 6.3 percent, significantly higher than the negative 1.3 percent growth in 2020 and also higher than the global level. In addition, Asian economies' share of global GDP will continue to grow to 47.7 percent in 2022.

The report said Asian economic integration will be accelerated by the coming into force of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which is the world's largest trade agreement, involving 15 economies-all 10 members of ASEAN, as well as China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

In addition, it said that China and South Korea's applications to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership will accelerate regional economic integration in Asia, which will greatly boost the global economic recovery of trade and investment in the post-COVID-19 era.

Fueled by continued liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment, trade and investment in Asia are expected to maintain their growth momentum in 2022.

In Asia, China is seen as a "stabilizer" in regional trade, contributing significantly to the recovery of the Asian economy, the report said.

Sang Baichuan, an economics professor at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, highlighted China's faster-than-expected 4.8 percent year-on-year growth in the first quarter of 2022 despite a weakening in economic activities in March amid resurgent domestic COVID-19 cases, saying that this demonstrates the strong resilience of China's economy.

However, he warned of the gap between first-quarter growth and China's annual growth target of around 5.5 percent for 2022, and called for measures to step up macroeconomic policy support.

Themed "The World in COVID-19&Beyond: Working Together for Global Development and a Shared Future", the Boao Forum for Asia is expected to focus on international unity and global cooperation, with a key focus on post-pandemic development.

Source:China Daily 

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