Boao Forum for Asia vital to promote multilateralism, global development in post-pandemic era: Cambodian scholar

Xinhua, April 21, 2022

Photo taken on April 19, 2022 shows the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) International Conference Center in Boao, south China's Hainan Province.  The BFA will hold its annual conference from April 20 to 22 in Boao. (Xinhua/Yang Guanyu)

The 2022 Annual Conference of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) is crucial to advocate multilateralism and closer international cooperation as well as to promote global development in the post-COVID-19 pandemic era, a renowned Cambodian scholar said here on Tuesday.

Under the theme of "The World in COVID-19 & Beyond: Working Together for Global Development and Shared Future," the BFA is scheduled for April 20-22 in Boao, a coastal town in China's southernmost province of Hainan.

Kin Phea, director-general of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said the BFA is an important platform where delegates from governments, businesses, academia and media all over the world can meet and discuss the post-pandemic development agenda for Asia.

"The Boao Forum for Asia is an important platform to advocate multilateralism and closer international cooperation as well as to promote global governance," he told Xinhua in an interview.

"It is also a very influential platform that has witnessed China's opening-up and integration with Asia and the global community and highlighted the importance of a forward-looking approach in promoting post-pandemic global development," he said.

As the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) free trade agreement entered into force on Jan. 1, 2022, the scholar believed that the Boao Forum for Asia will explore the opportunities of the RCEP for boosting Asian economies in the post-pandemic era.

Sharing his view on key challenges Asia is facing, Phea said the COVID-19 pandemic, global geopolitical competition, the situation in Ukraine, and the rising global inflation are major challenges to Asian countries in their economic development.

"In this context, in order to promote economic recovery, it is important that all countries have to closely work together to fight COVID-19, promote international solidarity and cooperation, and uphold multilateralism and the rule-based international order," he said.

"Solidarity and international cooperation are key to containing the still rampant COVID-19 pandemic," he added.

Meanwhile, the scholar said China's response to the outbreak of COVID-19, international cooperation initiatives in fighting COVID-19, and macroeconomic management policies and programs are a very important lesson that other countries can learn from China in promoting economic development.

"The world today is plagued by setbacks in globalization, protectionism, tensions in international relations and an increasing global governance deficit," he said.

"Against this backdrop, I think China has played a very important role in restoring confidence in multilateralism and globalization, building an open and pluralistic world economy, and blazing a new trail in inclusive growth and sustainable development, so as to shape a brighter shared future for mankind," he added.

Phea also highly spoke of China's role in helping Cambodia fight COVID-19, saying that Chinese vaccines have enabled Cambodia to fully resume its socio-economic activities and reopen its borders to vaccinated travelers without quarantine since last November.

"The royal government of Cambodia has made the correct decision to choose China as a strategic supplier of COVID-19 vaccines," he said.