29th April, 2018


CEO Michael Garin attends Media Leaders Summit for Asia

Image Nation Abu Dhabi CEO Michael Garin has attended the Media Leaders Summit for Asia – part of the Annual Boao Forum for Asia which was opened by Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday (April 8).

Over 300 representatives from around the world, including over 140 leaders of media outlets from more than 40 Asian countries and regions attended the event, covering topics such as media exchanges and cooperation; the One Belt One Road Initiative; China’s reform and opening up; and cultural exchanges throughout Asia.

Ahead of the ‘40 years of reform and opening up: China’s development and global opportunities’ forum, Garin was asked to address the audience of delegates with a keynote speech about the special relationship between China and the UAE.

During the event, Garin said: “The People’s Republic of China and the UAE share a very special relationship with strong bonds that date back to as early as the 7th century, when our two countries conducted maritime trade.

“The Abu Dhabi-China Infrastructure Development Fund, along with the ADNOC and Image Nation partnerships are just the latest examples of how long those bonds have endured.

“Each one of our joint activities support the Belt and Road vision, achieving mutual benefits for China and the Arab world. The speed at which these developments are taking place is extremely impressive and we in the UAE are optimistic both about the rapid development of China and our ability to find new areas of cooperation.

“The One Belt Initiative will have many lasting, positive impacts not the least of which will be an acceleration of the region’s economic development and the improvement of people’s lives.

“The connections between UAE and China are not only limited to the economic and trade field. From education and tourism to film, TV and culture, the convergence between the two countries has been increasing over the years. We expect to build on the already extensive cooperation in media and culture arena focusing on film and TV co-production, museum cooperation and people to people exchanges.

“And while prosperity is certainly a critical element in achieving many of the Initiative’s objectives, to fully realize them we must also focus on promoting tolerance, especially in these times of increasing sectarianism, nationalism and individual isolation.

“For the United Arab Emirates, tolerance has been an historical and core value dating back hundreds of years.  With the Ministry of Tolerance as a key component of the Federal government, the nation proudly maintains a diversity of religions and peoples with more than 200 nationalities living side by side harmoniously and with genuine respect.

“As media technologies have rapidly evolved, the mass audiences we took for granted over decades have also fractionated presenting new challenges for everyone in this room.  Many of the benefits we thought we would gain have proved elusive at best while many of the unanticipated and negative impacts such as social isolation, cyberbullying and the dissemination of hate speech have become sadly real.

“Marshall McLuhan, the media theorist, foresaw the day when we would all live in a global village and in many respects that day has now arrived.  But how many traditional content creators as well as the networks and studios who have supported them and thrived during the decades of mass audience media are capable of dealing with these new interactive technologies?

“While retail, email, streaming video and social media applications abound, the traditional media world is struggling to adapt.  How and if they do will have important social implications.  The shared experience of popular entertainment helped built subtle bonds that brought people together.  It remains to be seen and a challenge to us all to find how to do the same in our new interactive world.


“Make no mistake. This is critically essential work. All of us understand the consequences of ignorance and intolerance.


“Political, diplomatic, economic and other instruments of statecraft clearly have their traditional places in this effort. But without the work of those assembled here today and our colleagues around the world, these traditional tools will never be adequate to meet the challenges to civil society we currently confront.”