The main theme of this year's conference is "A Changing World: Working Together to Develop Global Governance and Cooperation in the Framework of the One Belt, One Road Initiative".
The forum was opened with a special video message from Chinese President Xi Jinping, who stated that his country would continue the policy of openness to the outside world and called on partners to jointly effectively use all the possibilities of the aforementioned Beijing initiative. Nursultan Nazarbayev in his speech emphasized the importance of the work of the Boao Forum, which over the past 20 years has taken place as a significant international platform for discussing topical issues of development not only in Asia, but throughout the world. According to Elbasy, the COVID-19 pandemic has made profound changes in everyday reality around the world and exposed a number of serious political, socio-economic and humanitarian challenges for the international community. At the same time, the crisis allows humanity to take a fresh look at the surrounding reality and already today draw several important conclusions for itself.

As Nursultan Nazarbayev noted, "the pandemic has shown the important role of the state in difficult times - thanks to the effective measures of the authorities, many countries managed to avoid the most negative scenarios for the development of the situation." At the same time, everyone was clearly convinced that our planet seems to be a rather fragile organism, which "should be valued and protected." In the context of the pandemic, globalization and other processes of interaction between countries and peoples have slowed down, distrust between people has grown, which negatively affects the global economy and politics. “We are seeing a rise in protectionist sentiment around the world. There is an introduction of politically motivated decisions that have a critical impact on international economic relations. The world must not be allowed to plunge into a spiral of selfish unilateral decisions,” Elbasy stressed in this regard. According to him, "the new principles of international agreements should be imbued with the spirit of interaction between equal and responsible partners." Their basis should be mutual respect for the cultural, social and political traditions, economic characteristics and values ​​of each country. The pandemic has convincingly shown “the inevitability of a choice between a world of competition and a world of cooperation.” As Elbasy points out, “without global control over the disease, the success of individual countries in the future will not bring the desired effect.” “It is important for humanity to cooperate with vaccine manufacturers and governments in solving the issue of mass vaccination on the planet. Competition and politicization in this matter are counterproductive,” he stressed.Regarding the One Belt, One Road initiative, Nursultan Nazarbayev recalled that it was put forward by the President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping in 2013 in the capital of our country. “For Kazakhstan, this initiative has become a window of new opportunities. Today, the shortest routes connecting Asia and Europe, the North and the South, the Pacific Ocean with the Atlantic and Indian Oceans pass through our state,” Elbasy emphasized. Today, 11 transnational routes are laid through Kazakhstan, of which 5 are railway and 6 automobile, including the Western Europe-Western China autobahn with a length of 2700 km, railways from Kazakhstan to the Persian Gulf and South Asia. “All this made it possible to create a competitive transit hub in the country. Now, through our country, goods from anywhere in Asia can reach the cities of Northern Europe in just two weeks. Thanks to this, even in the crisis of 2020, the growth of container traffic in the direction "China - Europe - China" through Kazakhstan amounted to more than 60%," Nursultan Nazarbayev said. In conclusion, Elbasy stressed that "over the past years, the One Belt, One Road initiative has proved its viability and significance for promoting progressive ideas of cooperation and globalization." It should be noted that the heads of states such as Brunei, Vietnam, Indonesia, Laos, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Chile and Sri Lanka also spoke at the forum.The Boao Asian Forum (BAF) is a non-governmental and non-profit international organization designed to promote regional economic integration and joint development of Asian states, including through the organization of an annual international conference for this purpose with the participation of prominent politicians, businessmen, scientists, experts and the media. This year BAF is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The founding session of the Forum took place on February 26, 2001 in Boao (Hainan Province, China). Recall, the anniversary meeting of the Boao Asian Forum (BAF) opened on April 18 in Boao, Hainan Province in southern China. The Boao Forum for Asia, founded in 2001, is a non-governmental international organization initiated by 29 member states, including Kazakhstan. The goal of the BAF is to support regional economic integration in Asia.