Boao (China), April 21:

The annual Asian Economic Forum (AEF) opened in China today with a target to integrate the diverse economies in the Asian region. Delivering a keynote address, China’s top legislator Wu Bangguo said the forum would grow into an important regional platform of dialogue for promoting business cooperation and common development in Asia. Asia’s GDP grew by over six per cent annually in the past seven years, contributing to 20 per cent of the world economic growth, Wu said.

Sustained development in Asian countries has led to closer economic links within the region, he said. Wu urged Asian countries to pursue a new strategy for industrialization that is high-tech driven, resources-efficient and environment-friendly and fully taps the strengths of human resources.

Established in 2001, BFA is a NGO serving as a platform voicing for Asia’s future. Philippine president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Pakistan prime minister Shaukat Aziz were among those who attended the opening of the forum.