On July 22, the journalist interviewed Mr. Chen Ruixian, deputy director of the Management Committee of Beibu Gulf (Guangxi) Economic Zone, managing deputy director of the General Office and deputy secretary-general of the Organizing Committee of the Pan Beibu Gulf Economic Development and Cooperation Forum, 2008
Journalist (hereinafter referred to as J): This year’s session of the Pan Beibu Gulf Economic Development and Cooperation Forum is to be held soon, how is the preparation work going?
Chen Ruixian (hereinafter referred to as C): under the leadership of the CPC Guangxi Committee and the Guangxi Provincial Government, and with the joint cooperation of all the relevant departments, the preparation work is going well. At present, the 12 sponsors, 4 co-sponsors and 9 organizers have been identified. National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Communications, Ministry of Commerce, the People’s Bank of China, General Administration of Customs, National Tourism Administration, the Development Research Center of the State Council, the China Development Bank, the People’s Daily Press, Hainan Provincial Government and the Asian Development Bank have replied officially in written form to the Secretariat of the Forum’s Organizing Committee that they have agreed to serve as the sponsors of the Pan Beibu Gulf Economic Development and Cooperation Forum, 2008. The fact that the National Development and Reform Commission, the General Administration of Customs and Hainan Provincial Government will sponsor this year’s session indicates that the state and the neighboring provinces attach great importance to Pan Beibu Gulf Economic Cooperation.
By July 21, it was confirmed that 276 guests, including 28 entourage, are going to attend the forum, of which 28 are at or above the vice-ministerial level. Among the 33 who are going to give speech or remarks, 13 are at the vice-ministerial level. Altogether 168 journalists from 69 media have replied to confirm the attendance of the forum, including 15 journalists from 13 media from Japan, ROK, ASEAN and Hong Kong and Macao.
Lamy, secretary general of WTO sent the congratulatory letter. The heads of the international organizations and the world well-known economists who would definitely come to attend the forum and delivery speeches include C. Lawrence Greenwood, vice president of ADB, Nicolas Dammam, deputy secretary general of ASEAN, Prof. Robert Mundell from the Columbia University of USA., the Nobel Prize winner for economy in 1999, Prof. Robert J. Aumann from Hebrew University of Israel, the Nobel Prize winner for economy in 2005. Other participants include the government officials, the experts and scholars from the renowned research institutes at home and abroad, the entrepreneurs from famous domestic and foreign companies, the diplomatic envoys of ASEAN nations in China as well as the representatives from financial institutions and international organizations. With the participants coming from such wide range, this forum is characterized by its high profile and internationalization.
J: This is the first session of the forum after the Development Scheme of Guangxi Beibu Gulf Economic Zone has been approved by the state, and it is also a large-scale international event held before the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Then what are the highlights?
C: It’s the 3rd session this year, so in general we find it more practical and more wonderful. Specifically, there are 9 highlight this year.
The first one is that the sponsors are from a wider range. We have 3 new sponsors for this session, namely the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC）, the General Administration of Customs (GAC) and Hainan Provincial Government. It is the first time for DRC to sponsor a forum jointly with the local government, and the GAC actively asks for sponsoring the forum, both fully embodying the great support of the national governmental organs to the Pan Beibu Gulf economic cooperation. In addition, the participation of Hainan Provincial Government in the sponsoring of the forum shows that the Pan Beibu Gulf economic cooperation is well appreciated in the neighboring areas.
The second one is that the forum is more and more attractive. With great interest in the forum, the Thai government has presented personal notes many times via the diplomatic channel to express the willingness of attending and playing an active role in the forum. They will send a big delegation to attend the forum, including officials, scholars and entrepreneurs, and the delegation is growing bigger.
The third one is that the forum is having higher profile. Two state leaders are going to attend the forum. In addition to the sponsors, the heads and chiefs of other ministries and departments, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Railways and Transportation, General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine and State Oceanic Administration will also attend the forum.
The fourth one is that there are more and more VIPs. There will be 28 guests at or above the vice-ministerial level, 9 more than 19 of last forum.
The fifth one is that it attracts more countries. Last year, only the diplomatic envoys from ASEAN countries attended the forum, while this year, the consuls general of 29 European and American countries in Guangzhou and Kunming also enter for the forum one after another.
The sixth one is that the speakers are very enthusiastic. Many guests request to deliver speeches at the forum, including the ones who did so in the first and/or the second forum and would like to share with others their new discoveries and feelings over the past one or two years, especially when they have learned that the development and opening of Pan Beibu Gulf Economic Zone has become the national strategy.
The seventh one is that the forum is organized in a new manner. Beihai City has carefully organized and arranged some outdoor activities including parachuting performance, sail-boarding performance, fire works demonstrating and the artistic performance of the Surging Ocean, which will become one of the highlights this year.
The eighth one is that the forum is having greater impact on ASEAN countries and the rest international community as well. In their visit to ASEAN countries in April and May, Mr. Guo Shengkun, Party secretary of the CPC Guangxi Committee and Mr. Ma Biao, chairman of Guangxi, were happy to learn that the state leaders of ASEAN would support the Pan Beibu Gulf cooperation. Mr. Robert Mundell, the Nobel Prize winner for economy, attended the forum last year. This year, he requested to attend the forum because he found the forum, with international impact, can help enhancing his reputation.
The last is that the Founding Conference and 1st Working Session of Pan Beibu Gulf Economic Cooperation Expert Panel will also be held during the forum, which is a key step forward for the sub-regional cooperation mechanism under the framework of China-ASEAN cooperation.
J: The forum is to be held in Beihai this year, instead of Nanning, so what challenges are you facing now? What is the Organizing Committee going to do to ensure the success of the forum?
C: Compared with the past 2 forums, this forum is facing 3 new challenges of new venue, high expectation and new difficulty this year.
The first challenge is the new venue for the forum. The forum is to be held in Beihai this year, which, in comparison with the capital city of Nanning, is relatively weak in its infrastructure and reception capability for organizing the high profile and large-scale international forum.
The second one comes from the high expectation of participants for the forum. The past 2 successfully held forums have become a benchmark for the future ones, so the participants imperceptibly enhance their expectation for the forum.
The third one is how to show the features and influence of the forum on the basis of the previous ones. The participants are from different departments and institutions home and abroad, and there are many national ministries and departments working as sponsors, many guests at or above the vice-ministerial level, many famous scholars, enterprises and financial institutions at the forum, all these impose new requirements for the organizing and reception work of the forum.
The CPC Guangxi Committee and the Guangxi Provincial Government have attached great importance to the forum. Party Secretary Guo Shengkun and Chairman Ma Biao have given many important instructions to make specific demands and requirements for well organizing the forum and have held the meeting of standing committee to discuss and decide the working plan for the forum. Vice Chairman Chen Wu has held many special meetings to make arrangements for the theme, the contents, the pattern, the scale of the forum and the invitation of guests to the forum. According to the arrangement of the CPC Guangxi Committee and the Guangxi Provincial Government, the Secretariat of the Organizing Committee of the Forum has held many meetings with the participation of relevant departments and bureaus to discuss matters concerning the guest invitation, reception work, activity arrangement and publication/promotion so that the preliminary organizing work can be completely put forward.
Besides, Beihai City also attaches great importance to the forum. Mr. Wen Kahua, standing member of the CPC Guangxi Committee and Party secretary of the CPC Beihai Committee, has held many meetings to discuss and make arrangements for the forum so as to pool the whole city’s efforts to organize the 2008 Pan Beibu Gulf Economic Development and Cooperation Forum. The CPC Beihai Committee and Beihai Municipal Government have established the special department and over 10 working groups to draw up a series of working plans for making the effective preparation for the reception, publicity, outdoor activity arrangements as well as the city environment improvement, laying a good foundation for a successful forum.
Currently, the overall agenda for the forum has been basically determined, other work concerning the reception, the arrangement of the conference hall, the publicity, the outdoor activities and the security has been pushing forward.
As the organizer, we will work actively, carefully and enthusiastically to ensure a successful forum with high sense of responsibility, complete service and detailed arrangement.