Medvedev to push Russia's Asian integration at China conference

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will attend the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference in China where he will address Russia's economic integration into the Asia Pacific region, a presidential aide said on Tuesday.

The BFA will celebrate its 10th anniversary this year with an annual conference on "Inclusive Development: Common Agenda and New Challenges" to be held on April 14-16 in Boao, Hainan, China.

Medvedev's participation is "designed to expand the economic cooperation agenda for the BRIC partners," Sergei Prikhodko said, referring to Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

The president is to speak at the forum's opening ceremony on Friday.

Russia's participation in the BFA "will expedite Russia's economic integration into the integration processes unfolding in the Asia Pacific region," Prikhodko said, and will facilitate its cooperation with China, Japan, South Korea and ASEAN countries to ensure the "socio-economic revival of Siberia and [Russia's] Far East."

BFA Secretary General Zhou Wenzhong has said the annual conference has become the "premier platform for discussion and debate on economic development in the Asian region," and this year it will welcome a record number of high-profile delegates.

Other heads of state and government due to attend the conference include Chinese President Hu Jintao, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, South African President Jacob Zuma, South Korean Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister Bill English.