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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

June 10, 2014 at 2:05 PM

High-level Asia forum set for Seattle

The Boao Forum for Asia brings together high-level leaders from business, government and the academy to discuss the most pressing issues involving the Pacific Rim. On Sept. 4-6, its first North American conference will be held in Seattle. Gov. Jay Inslee and Bill Gates will be the keynote speakers.

The theme will be “Energy, Resources and Sustainable Development.”

“Given Washington state’s close economic ties to Asia and our history of fostering innovative, forward-looking industries, Seattle provides the perfect backdrop to spark an international discussion on sustainable economic development,” Inslee said in a prepared statement. “Our goal is to launch a collaborative dialogue on sustainability emphasizing research, technology and innovative partnerships. We are proud that Washington state can help lead that discussion.”

China is Washington’s largest export destination. It also made up $11.6 billion — about 15 percent — of Washington state exports last year. Aerospace and Boeing are big players. The state is also one of America’s largest exporters of food and agriculture products, sending two-thirds of its ag exports to Asian countries.

“Given Washington state’s close economic ties to Asia and our history of fostering innovative, forward-looking industries, Seattle provides the perfect backdrop to spark an international discussion on sustainable economic development,” Inslee said. “Our goal is to launch a collaborative dialogue on sustainability emphasizing research, technology and innovative partnerships. We are proud that Washington state can help lead that discussion.”

Other confirmed speakers include Sen. Maria Cantwell; Zhang Guobao, chairman of the advisory board of the China National Energy Commission; Cui Tiankai, the Chinese Ambassador to the United States; Gary Locke, former U.S. Ambassador to China; Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia; Han Duck-soo, chairman of the Korea International Trade Association and former Prime Minister of South Korea; Chinese environmentalist Ma Jun; Chen Feng, chairman of HNA Group; Zhou Wenzhong, former Chinese Ambassador to the United States; Dr. Nan Zhou, scientist and Deputy of the China Energy Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Gao Jifeng, CEO of Trina Solar; Denis Hayes, president of the Bullitt Foundation, and James Fallows, national correspondent for Atlantic Monthly.

Comments | More in China economy and business, Energy, International economy

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