Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my great pleasure to join friends from the world at the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2012. More than a decade ago, Boao was still a small fishing village little known to the outside world. Today, it has become a major platform for people to compare notes on issues important to Asia's development. Boao has grown through the opening-up and development of Asia and China, its opening-up and changes have reflected how deeply connected China and Asia, Asia and the world have become. This gathering gives all of us a good opportunity to look at our world and learn from each other. The Boao Forum is an open and inclusive platform, based in Asia yet with a global perspective. This year's theme "Asia in the Changing World: Moving Toward Sound and Sustainable Development" is a highly relevant one. On behalf of the Chinese government, I would like to extend our warmest congratulations on the opening of the conference and our sincere welcome to all the participants coming from afar.
As the world sets its eyes on Asia, Asia is also looking at the world. Right now, profound and complex adjustment and changes are taking place around the globe. Although the world economy has shown signs of recovery and growth outlook in some countries gives reasons for optimism, the underlying impacts of the international financial crisis are still with us. The sovereign debt crisis in Europe persists. Achieving a full global recovery will remain a long and arduous process. At the same time, a new round of technological progress and industrial innovation is in the offing, as worldwide economic restructuring is picking up speed, economic globalization and regional integration moving forward despite twists and turns, adjustment in international political and economic order going into greater depth and the emerging economies playing even greater roles.
This Forum came into being in the wake of the Asian financial crisis. In the past decade and more, Asian countries have acquired greater resilience in dealing with risks and endeavored to promote sound economic development through adjustment and reform. In the current international financial crisis, Asian economy has been the first to recover and displayed solid fundamentals. Asia now accounts for over 30 percent of global GDP. Asia's contribution to global growth also surpasses 30 percent. This region hosts more emerging economies than any other part of the world, and its late-development advantages and development potential have become more evident.
Admittedly though, the overall level of development in many Asian countries is still quite low. There are significant development gaps between different Asian countries. Resource and environmental constraints are worsening. Regional security and stability face challenges. The road towards development will not be all smooth and there will be plenty of growing pains. Meanwhile, some countries and regions must still come to grips with such problems as economic slowdown, rising prices and mounting employment pressure. These issues all call for serious attention.
We know that in Asia's development, opportunities and challenges and hopes and difficulties exist side by side. We also know that opportunities and hopes outweigh challenges and difficulties. History recalls that Asia was the cradle of several proud civilizations and the region where splendor was created profusely. In modern times, Asia has gone through trials and tribulations and worked relentlessly for development. Today, Asia is at a new starting point. The resilient and enterprising people in Asia are working together to embrace a new rise, thus bringing themselves to the world, to a better future and to modernity. In this changing world, China is ready to work with other Asian countries to jointly cope with challenges and overcome difficulties, so to push forward Asia's sound and sustainable development.