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Author:Chen Jia and Li Xiang and Chen Weihua  Source:China Daily USA   

Annual conference to explore 'Open, Innovative Asia' through Belt, Road

The upcoming Boao Forum for Asia annual conference will be a platform for global political and business leaders to share insights on China's economic opening up, the Belt and Road Initiative and fostering innovation, which will be the fundamental drivers for creation of new growth engines for the world economy, experts say.

Since this year marks the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening up, the forum is expected to witness a series of new measures, especially for a further opening of the financial sector, when it is held in South China's island province of Hainan from April 8 to 11.

With a theme of "An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity", participants are also expected to discuss key issues related to globalization, the Belt and Road Initiative and innovation.

Xu Hongcai, an economist with the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said forum participants will likely focus on further pushing globalization and avoiding protectionism.

"China's Belt and Road Initiative will be a focus for discussion again this year, as the initiative is China's solution and wisdom for embracing globalization and to generate new growth opportunities for the global economy," Xu said.

Policymakers and experts are also likely to discuss domestic structural reform, as many governments seek solutions to energize domestic economies and create more jobs, he added.

Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, will visit China from April 9 to 12. She will attend speak at the forum in Boao.

Lagarde will then go to Beijing for a meeting on the Belt and Road Initiative on April 12. The meeting, jointly sponsored by the IMF and the People's Bank of China, the central bank, will be attended by participants from the private sector, government and academia to discuss various aspects of the initiative, according to Gerry Rice, IMF's director of communications.

Yuan Chenglong, CEO of Up Financial Co, said the forum offers "a significant chance to deepen cooperation between Chinese and foreign enterprises, especially in the new era, when more Chinese financial companies will seek development abroad."

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