MACAO, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) — The first conference of the International Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation (ISTIF) of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) opened in China’s Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) on Tuesday, with about 1,000 delegates from 18 countries and regions joining the event.
At the opening ceremony, Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Ho Hau Wah read a congratulatory letter from Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, delivered a keynote speech via video at the opening ceremony.
Vice chairman of BFA Zhou Xiaochuan said at the opening ceremony that the beginning of 21st century witnessed the fourth industrial revolution featured by artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing, 5G, quantum technology and life sciences.
He said the accelerated technological iteration and industrial transformation, and deepening connectivity and digital transformation have profoundly changed and shaped the world’s development pattern.
Zhou added that when facing the challenge of the outbreak and continuous spread of COVID-19, mankind needs more than ever to rely on science and technology as a key to overcome the pandemic, and to rely on scientific and technological innovation as the fundamental driving force to promote economic recovery and achieve green, inclusive and sustainable development.
In his speech, Macao SAR Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng said the SAR government will continue to improve the system and mechanism for scientific and technological innovation, and the mechanism for the transformation of scientific and technological achievements. It will also encourage and assist enterprises to actively apply advanced technologies for transformation and upgrading.
He added that the world is experiencing great changes unseen in a hundred years, which is further accelerated by the pandemic. In response to the new situation, China had proposed a new “dual circulation” development pattern, where domestic and foreign markets can boost each other, with the domestic market as the mainstay.
For Macao, this new pattern was not only an opportunity and an advantage, but also a responsibility and a duty, the chief executive said.
Chairman of BFA Ban Ki-moon, Ho Hau Wah, the BFA board member and the former president of the Philippines Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Hong Kong SAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam, deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council Zhang Xiaoming, and director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macao SAR Fu Ziying, also delivered speeches in person or via video.
The ambassador of Algeria to China, along with diplomatic delegates of the Philippines, Bangladesh, Uzbekistan, Pakistan and other BFA’s founding members in China, participated at the opening ceremony.
The conference was jointly hosted by the BFA and the Macao SAR government with a theme of “Innovation Empowers Sustainable Development.”
The conference has arranged a series of sessions and events on three key phrases, including Impetus for Innovation, Innovation and Life, and Cooperation on Innovation. About 100 heavyweight speakers and nearly 1,000 delegates from 18 countries and regions will share their views during the three-day forum.