Chinese President Xi Jinping to address global risks at Boao Forum

Mr Xi Jinping's speech will touch on the risks and challenges facing the world, as well as what solutions China can offer. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (BLOOMBERG) - Chinese President Xi Jinping will give a high profile speech on Tuesday (April 20) at the Boao Forum on Asia, an opportunity for him to showcase China's dramatic recovery from the pandemic and plans to open up the economy further to foreign investors.

Mr Xi will give the keynote speech by video to the more than 2,000 officials and business executives attending the conference in person in the southern island province of Hainan.

Several global leaders and the heads of the International Monetary Fund and United Nations are expected to attend the opening ceremony via video-link, according to state media.

The speech will touch on the risks and challenges the world is facing, and what solutions China can offer to promote development and prosperity, Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Monday.

"This reflects the world's aspiration to address changes and strengthen global governance," Mr Wang said.

"China hopes all parties will have a full discussion, and make plans for better development and to create a better future for Asia and the world."

Mr Wang declined to identify the second senior official whom state media reports indicated will attend the forum in person, saying the ministry would release information in due course.

The Boao Forum is the first big offline event in China this year, with more than 2,000 people attending.

After cancelling it last year because of the coronavirus outbreak, China is signalling it's open for business with the resumption of the conference, billed as an Asian version of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Officials have in the past used the event to announce major steps to open up the financial system, including the establishment and expansion of the stock connect program that links mainland exchanges with Hong Kong.

China is making a concerted effort to improve ties with US businesses in particular. A slew of American executives will be participating in the conference, including Apple Inc.'s Tim Cook, Tesla Inc.'s Elon Musk, Blackstone Group Inc's Stephen Schwarzman and Bridgewater Associates' Ray Dalio.

Another focus will be on any new climate goals from Beijing, following promises from the US and China to work together to tackle climate change after a visit by US global climate envoy John Kerry to Shanghai last week.

Experts close to the climate diplomacy said China may announce new targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions during the tropical forum, in a response to the climate summit that President Joe Biden will host with 40 world leaders later this week.

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