The 2nd Conference of ISTIF of Boao Forum for Asia is Convened

On 28 September 2022, Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) held the Second Conference of International Science, Technology and Innovation Forum (ISTIF). BFA Chairman Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Vice Chairman Mr. Zhou Xiaochuan, President of the ISTIF Conference Mr. Edmund Ho Hau Wah, Former President of the Philippines Madam Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Former Prime Minister of France Mr. Jean-Pierre Raffarin, Former Prime Minister of Finland Mr. Esko Aho, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR Mr. LEE Ka Chiu John, Chief Executive of the Macau SAR Mr. Ho Iat seng addressed the Opening Ceremony which was presided over by BFA Secretary General Mr. Li Baodong.

In Mr. Edmund Ho Hau Wah’s speech, he said, cooperation in international science, technology and innovation is a significant path to address global challenges and a crucial way to improve the global science and technology governance system. As Asia has become one of the most vibrant regions in the world in terms of innovation activities, in the future, China and other Asian countries should work together to gather scientific strength, promote the establishment of a multilateral science and technology governance system, participate deeply in global science and technology with a more open attitude and continuously contribute Asia’s wisdom, so that international science, technology and innovation can make great contributions to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

Mr. Edmund Ho Hau Wah also mentioned that the gathering of guests from different countries at the conference is precisely to promote sci-tech innovation with a global perspective, stimulate the vitality of open cooperation in science and technology, improve global science and technology governance, build a large-scale, wide-ranging, in-depth and high-level pattern of international science, technology and innovation cooperation. And these are exactly the purposes of the second conference of ISTIF. He hoped that everyone can achieve fruitful results and contribute their own wisdom and propose solutions to international science, technology and innovation.

Mr. Ban Ki-moon believed that Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) plays a vital role in dealing with global health crisis, social and economic growth, global climate action and global recovery. It is the power of STI that works and counts eventually. In a world of growing divides and fragmentation, more dialogues, consultation and cooperation, not less, shall be undertaken in the STI area. He called on all parties to forge strong partnership for a shared future of peace and development.

Mr. Zhou Xiaochuan pointed out that scientific and technological innovation is the key weapon for mankind to defeat the epidemic and an important means to promote the resumption of growth of the world economy and trade.  On how to seize the historic opportunities through cooperation from a new round of technological and industrial revolution, he put forward four key points. Firstly, Sci-tech innovation should be used to provide solid technical support for responding to the public health crisis. Secondly, digital transformation should be an important focus of sci-tech innovation. Thirdly, green technology is the key to globally achieving a low-carbon transition. Fourthly, attention should be paid to the impact of the technological revolution on human society and employment.

Mr. Jean-Pierre Raffarin pointed out that the world is in danger and it is essential to seek consensus among tensions and disorders through cooperation. He believed that countries need to have a global strategy in the main fileds for a common vision for the future, and to enhance cooperation in environment protection (planetisation), African development and public health through joint efforts in STI promotion.

Mr. Esko Aho advised that the world is faced with various challenges such as climate change, risk of continuation of the pandemic, rapidly increasing cost for food and energy, health care and demography change which is going to create huge challenges for sustainability for economies and societies from the long run. He believed that technology is the fundamental answer to many of these critical questions. He called on countries to abstain from protectionism, to collaborate in STI area, to ease market access, and to create win-win opportunities together against the challenges faced by the world.

Arroyo spoke high of China’s innovation-driven development strategy, saying that the country spurred breakthroughs and original innovation on core technologies in key fields. She said it is fitting that strategy this ISTIF Conference looks at strengthening international exchanges and cooperation in science and technology and contributing to the creation of a community with a shared future for mankind. She believed that S & T innovation is a pillar of sustainable development.Thus innovation to empower sustainable development is created in, and helps create, the community of shared future for mankind. She also stressed that an innovation culture is also characterized by a sense of openness to ideas contributed by others. Collaboration should be the way forward in order to sustain innovation.

Mr. LEE Ka Chiu John said that with the solid support of the central government, all walks of life in Hong Kong will continue to seize the opportunity and actively integrate into the overall situation of national development. Give full play to the unique advantages of "one country, two systems", under the unprecedented opportunities of science and technology innovation brought by national development, gather global innovation resources, and work with cities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area to promote collaborative innovation between production, education and research, and build a global scientific and technological innovation highland.

Mr. Ho Iat seng said that the ISTIF Conference continues to provide a platform for all walks of life to deeply explore cutting-edge hot topics in the field of innovation, discuss global scientific and technological innovation cooperation, and help the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area build a global scientific and technological innovation highland, which is of great practical significance. Macao will further improve the scientific and technological innovation system, optimize the environment for innovation and development, strengthen the application of science and technology, and promote the integration of production, education and research. Macao will also further give play to the functions of the domestic and international dual circulation intersection and the China-Portuguese-speaking platform to promote Sino-Portuguese and international scientific and technological innovation cooperation.

Mr. LEONG Vai-tac, Executive Chairman of ISTIF Presidium moderated the plenary session, during which, State Minister of Skills Development, Vocational Education, Research & Innovation of Sri Lanka Hon. Susil Premajayantha, BFA Council advisor, director general emeritus of World Health Organization and President of BFA Global Health Forum Madam Margaret CHAN, PRC Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Mr. Zhang Guangjun, Deputy Director of Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office of the State Council Mr. Huang Liuquan, Deputy Director of Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macau SAR Ms. Yan Zhichan, National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine Deputy Director General Mr. Huang Luqi, Director of UNESCO Beijing Office Prof. Shahbaz Khan delivered a speech respectively. World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Deputy Director General Ms. Wang Binying sent a Congratulatory Letter to the ISTIF Conference read out by Director of WIPO Office in China Ms. Liu Hua.

Speaking respectively as representatives of the business community are Mr. Bob Maughon, Executive Vice President of Sustainability, Technology & Innovation, Chief Technology and Sustainability Officer of SABIC the Honorary Strategic Partner and a corporate board member of Boao Forum for Asia, and Executive Vice President Mr. Hu Baishan, Chief Operation Officer of vivo, a BFA Strategic Partner.

Participants to the conference believed that Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) has become the main driving force of world economic and social development and the key measure for human beings to face and tackle the various challenges. Participants called on all parties to strengthen global cooperation in STI field, in order to spur global sustainable recovery and development, and to provide countermeasures and solutions to major challenges and crises faced by mankind in poverty reduction, public health, climate issues and ecological conservation.

Diplomats of BFA initial countries in China, representatives of BFA partners and members, among others, actively participated the conference in-situ or online.

The Second Conference of International Science, Technology and Innovation Forum (ISTIF) hosts 9 sessions centered on the theme Innovation Empowers Sustainable Development, in which over 80 distinguished guests will have in-depth discussion and exchanges on frontier areas of fintech, data transmission, biotechnology and medicine, artificial intelligence, materials technology, digital science, public health and industry 4.0, etc.

The International Science, Technology and Innovation Forum (ISTIF) was established by Boao Forum for Asia in 2019. The first ISTIF Conference was held in Macau in 2020, receiving extensive attention and participation. With the its Second Conference successfully convened, the ISTIF is becoming an important platform for international exchanges and cooperation in the STI area and destined to play an important role in global sustainable development.