By Genalyn Kabiling
Boao, China – Former President Gloria Macapagal is now a member of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) board of directors.
Arroyo, currently congresswoman of Pampanga’s second district, was among the 12 newly elected members of the 19-strong BFA board during their meeting last Monday.
Former United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was elected chairman of the BFA board last Monday, replacing former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda.
Arroyo had earlier paid a courtesy call on President Duterte shortly after his arrival in Boao, Hainan last Monday night.
Philippine Ambassador to China Jose Santiago Sta. Romana had earlier said Arroyo would participate in this year’s economic forum and may take the place of former President Fidel V. Ramos in the BFA board.
Ramos is one of the founders of BFA, an annual gathering of influential business leaders, government officials, scholars, and journalists to discuss issues and concerns that affect Asia Pacific economy and businesses. Other co-founders were Bob Hawke, former Prime Minister of Australia, and Morihiro Hosokawa, former Prime Minister of Japan.
Meantime, former central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan replaced ZengPeiyan as China’s chief representative to the BFA. Based on the BFA Charter, the chief representative of China is the ex-officio member and the vice chairman of the board.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong was also appointed BFA secretary-general.
Other new directors are former senior government officials, business leaders, and eminent persons from Asia and other parts of the world.
The BFA, founded in 2001, is a non-government and non-profit international organizationcommitted to promoting regional economic integration. This year’s BFA conference carries the theme,“An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity.”