"This is the first time a senior Indian business leader was accorded the distinction," said K Nagraj Naidu, India's consul general in Guangzhou, who is attending the BFA at Boao, a picturesque coastal town in south China's Hainan province.
It is also a recognition for the Tatas as a global conglomerate, he said.
The 15-member board of BFA included former Japanese prime minister Yasuo Fukuda, former Malaysian prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, former Singapore prime minister Goh Chok Tong and former prime minister of France Jean-Pierre Raffarin, beside former US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.
BFA was formed in 2001 on the lines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Every year the world's top political and business leaders gather in Boao to discuss political and economic issues.
The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce is an ordinary member of the forum.
Tata, 76, attended the opening meeting of this year's BFA on Thursday and met Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, who inaugurated the meeting attended by heads of governments of several countries, including Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Australian Premier Tony Abbott.
In his interaction with the media at BFA on Wednesday, Tata said Indian businesses had failed to grasp many opportunities offered by the vast Chinese market.