BFA 2016: “Davos of Asia” Draws World Leaders, CEOs, Economists

boao forum for asia 2016 2017 bfa 2016 Li Kequiang Gina Smith anewdomain
Written by Gina Smith

World leaders, tech CEOs, leading academics and economists are slated to show up at the Boao Forum for Asia (2016) in Boao, China. We’re on the ground covering this event, which runs March 21 through March 25.

aNewDomainGina-Smith-anewdomain boao asia forum 2016 bfa 2016 Li Keqiang — Boao Forum for Asia 2016 (BFA 2016) kicks off this week in Bo’ao, China, queueing up a long list of world leaders, decision makers, financiers, CEOs and academics to discuss tech, science and policy issues here in this picturesque coastal city in Hainan, China’s most southern province.

As one of a small cadre of U.S. journalists cleared to attend, I’ll be covering all aspects of the event for you as it unfolds March 21 through March 25, 2016. Modeled on the World Economic Forum and best described as the “Davos of Asia” it’s for sure worth watching.

li kechiang boao asia forum 2016 bfa 2016 gina smith chinese premier hainan davos li keqiangWho and what’s in store? Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (pictured at right) is expected to address an invitation-only crowd of attendees on March 24. I’ll be covering that event for you via live blog, with analysis to follow.

Li, who is China’s leader as well as a leading figure driving China’s economic policy, is an economist by training. In addition to a regular appearance at BFA each year, he is a frequent speaker at such venues as the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. At Davos last year, he emphasized “opening up” China to free market forces.

Calling to mind a European proverb that says, “When the wind of change blows, some build walls, while others build windmills,” Li said:

We need to act along the trend of our time, firmly advance free trade, resolutely reject protectionism, and actively expand regional economic cooperation. We need to build global value chains, and seize the opportunity of a new technological revolution.”

He also renewed calls for structural reform, saying that “structural reform must be carried through no matter how difficult it is, as it is an effective way to foster conditions conducive to global innovation and bring about new momentum for global development.”

Read the full transcript of Li’s speech as published by The China Daily last year here.

Other world leaders expected to be in attendance include leaders and former prime ministers of Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and France, as well as senior state officials from the U.S., UK and Canada.

Below, check out the latest list of delegates approved to attend the event, which kicks off tomorrow morning.

BFA-BOAO Asia Forum 2016 delegate list (BFA 2016, Boao Forum for Asia news)

And here is the most recent schedule of seminars and events at BFA 2016. I’ll be moderating two panels, one on the sharing economy and the other on the future of the Internet.

BFA-Boao Asia Forum 2016 Agenda (BFA 2016, Boao Forum for Asia news)

For aNewDomain, I’m Gina Smith.

Cover image of the downtown area of Bo’ao, China by Anna Frodesiak — Own work, Public Domain,

Inside images: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang speaking in Davos, Switzerland in 2015:, All Rights Reserved.