Gloria Arroyo joins China's Boao Forum board

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President Rodrigo Duterte with former President and Pampanga 2nd District Representative Gloria Arroyo in Hainan, China.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 12) Former president and Pampanga 2nd District Representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was appointed to the Board of Directors of an Asian regional forum Tuesday.

Arroyo is one of the 12 newly-elected members of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Board of directors, according to the forum's website.

In a statement Wednesday, Arroyo said she was honored by the appointment as she had been a participant of the BFA for "a long time."

"I'm very honored to be a member of the Board….I'm happy to be here at this time because with a very good relations between the Philippines and China now and under the leadership of Pres. Xi Jinping and Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, I would like to add what I can to contribute to that very good relationship," she said.

Former Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon was elected as the chair of the BFA Board, while Zhou Xiaochuan vice chair of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference is China's new chief representative to the forum, and the board's vice chair.

Arroyo said Asia should move forward with issues that are "less prickly," given closer and friendlier relations among BFA's member-countries, amid the ongoing trade tiff between U.S. and China.

"I think that given the trade wars that you are talking about, even us we are trying to sort out the difference between the West and the East. I think among us in the East, we should forge ahead because the issues are less contentious and we are closer and more friendly with one another," she stated.

The lawmaker also said she looks forward to Xi's trade and economic policies for China in the future.

"I am looking forward to whatever he has to say. He is a very important person in a very important country and we are all very eager and we look forward to the continuing leadership of China in the region's economy and the world's economy," she said.

In an April 9 press briefing, Philippine Ambassador to China Chito Sta. Romana said Arroyo may assume a seat in the Board, replacing former President Fidel Ramos.

Ramos was one of the founding members of the Board in 1998, who proposed the idea of an Asian forum in response to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Established in 1971, the Davos forum is the international organization for public-private cooperation 'committed to improving the state of the world.'

The BFA forum is an annual economic summit "dedicated to promoting Asian countries to achieve common development through further integration of regional economy."

As an outgoing member of the BFA's Council of Advisors, Ramos and eight other members were honored with the title of BFA Honorary Member for their contributions to the forum.