Innovation and technology is key for global economy to pick up quickly, said participants on Tuesday, adding that the paradigm is shifting to Asia.

Chinese Vice-Premier Han Zheng highlighted the importance of international cooperation on science and technology, via a video speech at the opening of the First Conference of the International Science, Technology and Innovation Forum of Boao Forum for Asia in Macao on Tuesday.

“International cooperation, exchanges as well as competition on science and technology have, to a large extent, promoted the world”s technological advancement, which eventually benefits the human society,” he said.

China always adheres to open innovation, firmly upholding multilateralism and opposing protectionism and unilateralism, he said, adding that China is willing to work together with other countries to promote international science and technology cooperation and share the achievements of technological innovation.

It will also improve the country’s intellectual property system, strengthen intellectual property protection to create a business environment that respects the value of knowledge, Han added.

Ban Ki-moon, chairman of Boao Forum for Asia and former United Nations secretary-general, said innovation provides a simple solution for the daunting and complex challenges faced by human, including the current COVID-19 pandemic, which has claimed over 1 million lives and taken a toll on the social life of many.

In an online speech broadcast live, Ban said innovation and technology is the driving force for social progress.

Ban took note of the paradigm shift from the West to the East which sees innovation and technology taking off in Asia.

Asia needs to double down its efforts in innovation and technology in order to be world leaders, he said.

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The forum, named innovation empowers sustainable development, is tasked to be the platform for innovation and technology development in Asia, he said.

Former governor of People’s Bank of China Zhou Xiaochuan, also vice-chairman of Boao Forum for Asia, agreed that Asia is progressing in a fast pace in this area, with its vitality in science and technology.

According to World Intellectual Property Organization’s latest Global Innovation Index, released in September 2020, Singapore took the eighth spot in the index while South Korea, for the first time, made it in the top 10 in the ranking and China took the 14th place among the 131 countries and regions. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region also climbed up two places to the 11th this year.

China has also made detailed plan for taking forward science and technology in its proposals for the latest 14th Five-Year plan, released earlier, Zhou said, after the country has drawn benefits from technology in successfully containing the pandemic.

Not only in Asia, in Zhou’s opinion, bolstering innovation and technology is high on agendas of many countries as it is becoming clearer that innovation is a key factor at play to empower coronavirus-stricken economies globally to revive.

Looking forward, Zhou put emphasis on international collaboration for driving innovation and technology development.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a good example of how close international cooperation drives the world forward, said Zhou. From the basic research of the virus to the clinical trial and the vaccine manufacturing, it takes teamwork globally to speed up the process, he said.

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The ceremony was attended by over 200 guests from all areas. It was followed by the establishment of the Macao Committee for Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Development of Boao Forum for Asia and the signing of MOU for strategic cooperation between the BFA and the Macao SAR.

The forum will run until Wednesday, giving insights of innovation and technology through 12 thematic sessions spanning through green and low-carbon technology, innovation for life and biomedical technology.

Via China Daily