Graphics: Asia set to lead global cooperation, economic recovery
The Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference 2023 will be held from Tuesday to Friday in Bo'ao Town, Qionghai City, south China's Hainan Province.
What is BFA?
BFA is a non-profit organization that hosts high-level forums for leaders, governments, businesses and academia in Asia and other continents to share their vision on the most pressing issues in the region and the world. It is committed to promoting regional economic integration and bringing Asian countries closer to their development goals.
Themed "An Uncertain World: Solidarity and Cooperation for Development amid Challenges," the 2023 BFA Annual Conference focuses on development and inclusiveness as well as regional and global cooperation.
Asia's integration progresses steadily
Asia's trade is highly correlated with industrial production inside and outside the region. The Asian Economic Integration Report 2023 by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) shows that Asia's trade relied heavily on intermediate goods, as compared with capital and consumption goods. In 2021, intermediate, capital and consumption goods accounted for 57 percent, 20 percent and 17 percent of Asia's exports, respectively.
According to data from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), intra-regional trade accounted for 59 percent of Asia's trade in 2022.
Mutually beneficial cooperation, such as one under the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP), also helps foster a more open market in both Asia and the world.
According to the ADB report, six free trade agreements, including the RCEP, came into effect between December 2021 and December 2022.
RCEP, the world's largest trade bloc, encompasses all 10 members of the Association of Southeastern Asian Nations, together with China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. It is the first free trade agreement between China, Japan and South Korea, three of the four largest economies in Asia.
Amid the ups and downs of the COVID-19 pandemic, "the foreign direct investment (FDI) flows to Asia have bucked the global trend and underscored the resilience of developing economies in Asia," said James Zhan, director of UNCTAD's investment and enterprise division.
FDI flows to developing countries in Asia rose by 19 percent to an all-time high of $619 billion in 2021, according to UNCTAD's World Investment Report 2022. The Chinese mainland was the main recipient, followed by China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Singapore, India, the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia. Meanwhile, FDI flows from Asia also recovered to a pre-pandemic level of $394.1 billion.