Emeritus Senior Minister (ESM) Goh Chok Tong is visiting Hainan Province, People's Republic of China, from 24 to 25 March 2017 to attend the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference.

ESM, together with other BFA Board Directors, met Member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China and Vice Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China Zhang Gaoli. They discussed initiatives to promote globalisation and free trade in Asia, including the Belt and Road, Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and other regional trade initiatives.

ESM also spoke at a panel session on Globalisation & Free Trade: The Asian Perspectives. ESM said that while the economic benefits of globalisation were clear, it was important for leaders to put in place policies that would bring about a fairer distribution of the benefits of globalisation. ESM expressed confidence that China, together with Japan and ASEAN, could play an important leadership role in promoting globalization and free trade through investing greater effort in regional trade initiatives such as the RCEP. The edited transcript of ESM's remarks is at Annex.

ESM met former Vice Premier and current BFA Vice Chairman Zeng Peiyan on the sidelines of the BFA Annual Conference. ESM and Mr Zeng agreed that this year's BFA theme of Globalization & Free Trade: The Asian Perspectives was relevant and timely, and discussed the important leadership role China could play in promoting these principles. ESM and Mr Zeng also discussed ways to maintain the growing success of the BFA Annual Conferences, as well as relations between the United States and China and its impact on Asia.

ESM also met Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Leung Chun-ying. ESM congratulated Chief Executive Leung on his recent appointment as Vice Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. They discussed developments in Hong Kong and Singapore.

ESM also met Guangdong Deputy Party Secretary and Guangzhou Party Secretary Ren Xuefeng. ESM and Party Secretary Ren reaffirmed the good progress on the Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City, and discussed developments in Guangdong and Guangzhou.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore