"The BFA, established at the beginning of this century, reflects the aspiration of Asian nations to pursue strength through unity, jointly meet challenges and increase the influence of Asia," China's state-run news agency Xinhua quoted President Xi as saying.
"The mission and purpose of the forum is to promote economic integration in Asia, boost exchanges and cooperation between regional countries and the world, to achieve mutual benefits and win-win results," he added.
Ban thanked the Chinese government for its support for the BFA.
Given the present scenario, the BFA Chairman noted that the forum needed to send out clear messages backing globalisation and free trade.
According to the report, Ban said that the forum should not remain confined to Asia and should go beyond it in the long run, adding that, it should become an important platform for promoting the harmonious coexistence of the people.
The BFA is a non-profit organisation that hosts high-level forums for leaders from government, business and academia in Asia and other continents to share their vision on the most pressing issues in this dynamic region and the world at large.
BFA, which is modelled on the World Economic Forum (WEF) held annually in Davos, Switzerland, is also known as the 'Asian Davos'.
The forum, which came into being in 2002, is committed to promoting regional economic integration and bringing Asian countries closer to their development goals.
This year's conference was held in China's southern island province of Hainan from April 8 to 11 and was attended by top leaders from China, Philippines, Singapore, Mongolia, Austria and several other countries.
The theme for this year's conference was "An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity".(ANI)