The annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) kicked off on Thursday in China's Boao town, southern Hainan Province, where Chinese President Xi Jinping will deliver keynote speech on "Asia's New Future: Towards a Community of Common Destiny" on Saturday.
The following are big talking points arranged in alphabetical order compiled by Xinhua.
The China-proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) braces for a pivot point on March 31, the application deadline for prospective founding members. Already, western countries including Britain, Germany, France and Italy expressed willingness to be a part of it. The bank currently has 27 founding members and expects more to join.
The AIIB aims to facilitate infrastructure investment in Asia and will be complementary to established multilateral banks.
Boao, a semi-fishing and semi-farming town, is the permanent venue for BFA conference and has become an Asian version of "Davos". Meetings and dialogues on Asia's development are held there every spring.
The BFA, formally inaugurated on February 27, 2001, is the first Asia-led forum to promote and deepen the economic exchange and cooperation within the region and between Asia and other parts of the world.
C|Community of Common Destiny
The theme of the annual conference in 2015 is "Asia's New Future: Towards a Community of Common Destiny" , voicing a shared desire of Asian economies embrace common prosperity by putting aside disputes and making joint efforts amid economic hardships.
The forum will discuss how to intensify cooperation in multiple fields to face challenges and tap opportunities, prompting Asia to thrive in the new future.
The BFA's 2015 annual conference will be a grand stage for diplomacy. So far, 15 foreign government leaders have confirmed attendance to the conference including non-Asian countries Armenia, Austria, Netherlands, Russia, Tanzania and Zambia.
During the period, China' s bilateral and multilateral diplomatic activities deserve close attention.
The forum has attracted more than two fifths of the Fortune 500 companies, with executives attending to talk about entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity. A series of CEO dialogues will be held between Chinese enterprises and their counterparts from Australia, the United States, the European Union and Japan respectively.
Topics on finance and policies including "the next financial crisis", shadow banking and new forces in multilateral financial organizations will be highlights.
Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People's Bank of China, Joachim Nagel, member of the Executive Board of the Deutsche Bundesbank, and Carlos Gutierrez, former Secretary of Commerce, will discuss monetary policy and world economic outlook.
Global governance will be a hot topic at the forum. China's Finance Minister, Lou Jiwei will discuss with heads of the International Monetary Funds, World Bank and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development to make G20 better play its role in global economic governance.
The property sector drove China's economic growth in the past decade but faces increasing risk as investment chills. With property taxes in the pipeline and a national registration system soon in place, speculative capital is leaving the scene. Where is the sector heading? Officials, experts and developers will tell you.
Innovation and technology will be another hot topic this time. Bill Gates, Co-chair of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors and Robin Li, CEO of Baidu will discuss the significance of innovation for a sustainable future. Dialogues on big data, wearable devices, e-commerce, artificial intelligence, 3D printing and new energy vehicles are also expected.
It is the first time that judiciary becomes a part of the forum. China's Chief Justice Zhou Qiang will attend the BRICS's Chief Justices Dialogue on pollution control.
The conference this year contains more than 70 dialogues on nearly all major topics. The BFA has published Progress of Asian Economic Integration Annual Report, Asian Competitiveness Annual Report and Development of Emerging Economies Annual Report.
The BFA will release the 2015 Asian Economy Forward-looking Indicator on Friday, with two other reports on rural finance and Internet finance expected.
Record number of government leaders will attend the BFA annual conference this year. But magnates of other fields will share their spotlight. Among them are Bill Gates, Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons Ltd., Li Yang, vice president of China Academy of Social Sciences, Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, Ming-Chu Fung, president of Taipei Palace Museum, and Thomas Friedman, author of The World is Flat.
Asia never lacks miracles. From the East Asian Miracle to China's stunning growth, the regions awed the world in recent 30 years. Whether the miracles can last is closely watched by the world. Justin Yifu Lin, witness of the development and renowned economist, will address on the topic at the conference.
Buzz word "new normal" has become a widely-recognized description for China's policy making and economic outlook amid slowing global recovery.
As the world's second largest economy, largest exporter and the third largest global investor, China's move in this new period will bring significant changes to the world. The forum will serve as a window to show the new term to the world.
"Outlook" will be a major perspective to interpret economic and social development. The outlook of multilateral investment agreements, "the next financial crisis" and unconventional monetary policy will be highlighted in dialogues.
The BFA Board of Directors will discuss global economic outlook of 2015 and Asia's prospects under the background of the slowing recovery.
Pollution control has become an increasingly urgent matter for rapidly-growing Asian economies after modernization progressed at the cost of the environment. The forum will try to tackle pollution by the power of judiciary with help of BRICS's Chief Justices. Other topics include smog and health, underground water, soil pollution and rehabilitation and sustainable development.
What is the role Asia will play in the global recovery? Will it maintain a robust economic engine despite external uncertainties? Can China continue to lead emerging economies? These questions will be asked with leaders and thinkers attempting to answer.
Regional cooperation has remained a focus of the forum in recent years. This year it will highlight the "Belt and Road" initiatives, collaboration with Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Community of a Common Destiny. The Year of China-ASEAN Maritime Cooperation will also be launched during the period.
A long-expected national plan to materialize the China-led "Belt and Road" initiatives will likely be unveiled during the forum. The AIIB and Silk Road Fund will facilitate the initiatives which have been supported by more than 50 countries and regions along the routes.
The planned Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road was proposed in 2013 and will improve infrastructure and facilitate connectivity to lay the foundation of a prosperous Asia.
Transformation is a key word at the conference. This year, it will focus on transformation of the "new normal" for the Chinese economy, exporters' transformation and Hong Kong's trade and logistics upgrade. From enterprises to economies, "transformation" has been pivot to adjust to a changing external circumstance.
Like China, which is in the middle of urbanization, most of Asian countries are groping for their own paths and facing respective challenges. Attendees will discuss urbanization of rural laborers in cities and agriculture against the backdrop.
From the Black Death to HIV, SARS to Ebola, viruses have influenced human civilization on unexpected scales and in ways medical technology, whether advanced or lagging, could not influence.
Scholars, businessmen and officials will discuss the possibility of setting up a global early-warning system to detect new diseases and the unexpected spread of the old ones.
W|World economy [ The global economy may have got through the worst, but downward pressures and risks still loom at large. The BFA will discuss Asia's role in driving world economic growth.
It will be the second appearance for President Xi at BFA's annual conference after he became the country's top leader. His keynote speech is expected to have profound influence on regional cooperation.
Chairman of the BFA, the former Prime Minister of Japan will give welcoming remarks at the opening plenary on March 28 and talk about East Asian Economic Community at a dinner party the same day.
Four free trade zones (FTZ) in Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangdong and Fujian have unveiled China exploration of a feasible path to push reform, open up and seek the right balance between government and market.
The progress is significant to trade and cooperation with neighboring regions including the ASEAN economies.
(Xinhua News Agency March 26, 2015)