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APEC brings Hawaii to apex of trade scene


POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 12:51 p.m. HST, Nov 09, 2011



At long last, it's showtime.

This week's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting will be a showcase of Hawaii to the world, and numerous local companies see it as a chance to increase their visibility and sales abroad.

But it's much more than that. Indeed, Hawaii hosting APEC 2011 Leaders Week through next Sunday comes with a slew of public-space closures and restrictions -- inconvenient but necessary considering that 21 world leaders will descend on our island speck of the world, including President Barack Obama, Chinese President Hu Jintao and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

More than 20,000 convention-related visitors are expected to give Hawaii's economy a $120 million boost. A raft of complex economic meetings will swirl, all in the primary effort to discuss and draw trade around the Pacific Rim. The global spotlight is on Obama's lead in proposing a nine-country Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement that could bring free trade throughout the Asia-Pacific region. He is poised to announce formation of a TPP, at least in tentative form, with an outline of the pact expected to be a central topic among APEC leaders and delegates, despite a misguided pharmaceuticals plan that could be a spoiler. Obama has backed away from the Bush administration's more liberal stance on foreign access to affordable medicines.

Many Hawaii businesses will be more than detached spectators at such a discussion. In recent years, the state has been recognized as a launching pad for numerous goods sold elsewhere in the world, especially in the Pacific area. According to the U.S. Commerce Department's International Trade Administration, 714 companies exported goods from Hawaii in 2008, and 638 of them were small- and medium-sized firms with fewer than 500 employees that generated two-fifths of the state's total exports.

Hawaii exports to Singapore have grown by more than 1,000 percent since the U.S. trade agreement with that country took effect in 2004, according to the administration. The Washington-based Business Round- table study two years ago found that foreign trade jobs in Hawaii numbered 165,704, or 20.5 percent of the state's employment, the highest proportion in the country.

Tim Johns, vice chairman of the APEC 2011 Hawaii Host Committee, said APEC in Hawaii is seen "as an opportunity to get our business success stories in front of as many eyes as possible." The committee, which has worked for two years toward this week, has teamed with the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii to form the Hawaii Virtual Business Marketplace, an interactive website to advertise and market their products and services aimed at global audiences. Five local Hawaii Business Innovation Showcase awardees, in particular, will have face-time chances with top Asia-Pacific government and corporate officials to lead the effort to gain recognition for Hawaii: Big Island Carbon, Sopogy Inc., HNU-Energy, Trex Enterprises Corp. and Skai Ventures.

Last month, Obama signed into law trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia, trade expansion that had been dormant for more than four years. The delay reduced the enthusiasm by other countries, which went ahead with pacts without the United States. India, Korea, Australia and New Zealand have joined the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) while Japan has signed numerous agreements. India trades with Thailand and Malaysia and is negotiating free trade with the European Union. China has agreements with ASEAN, Singapore, Pakistan, New Zealand, Chile, Peru and Costa Rica.

APEC 2011 security will disrupt routines for many, especially in Waikiki, Kapiolani, Ala Moana and parts of Kapolei and Ko Olina. It has spurred clearings of homeless encampments and millions of dollars of roadwork and beautification. Anti-APEC protests are sure to occur, which is fine in a democratic society that values free speech and diversity of views.

Moana Nui, an "Un-APEC" summit focusing on localized self-sufficiency and self-determination, also will be happening this week.

But there's no doubting the unique distinction that Hawaii will enjoy hosting APEC, a top-level summit which will not be hosted in the U.S. for at least another 22 years.

In addition to the exposure Honolulu will receive as host city, Hawaii businesses, like companies throughout this country and region, will have a stake in the path toward a Trans-Pacific Partnership.






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Maneki_Neko wrote:
The cheer leading never ends. Five local businesses get "face time" at APEC but hundreds lose revenue. IT costs over $130 million to prep for the conference which only generates $120 million. We spend money we do not have (remember the canoe going to huli?) but then say we it's not an APEC expense because we would have to spend anyway. We make improvements but do not provide for maintenance of those improvements. We corral and herd the homeless out of sight of the rich and into Moilili, Makiki and the residential neighborhoods. We disrupt people's lives so dignitaries can have elegant lunches at farms.

You know at the end, victory will be declared. There will be hive fives and hand slaps about how great things were but for the resident, nothing will have been accomplished on the problems that face us each day. The palm trees will die, the homeless will move back, the costs and taxes will rise and the rich will move on to the next APEC location. Hawaii sold out by its polticians and fat cats.
on November 6,2011 | 07:05AM
Highinthesierras wrote:
Hope this will be Barry's last visit.
on November 6,2011 | 06:47PM
sukebesan wrote:
APEC Week = Police State Week Have Fun Everyone!
on November 6,2011 | 08:22AM
LemonySnickets wrote:
APEC members will come to Hawaii and buy products Made In China or their own countries. "I came to Hawaii to buy an Aloha Shirt Made in Hawaii but it says Made in China. Aiyah, I could have stayed home and save airfare and hotel and bought a Shirt in a local store in Shanghai".
on November 6,2011 | 08:50AM
Kuniarr wrote:
Fact or fiction?
on November 7,2011 | 09:58AM
LemonySnickets wrote:
Really?
on November 7,2011 | 02:05PM
Kuniarr wrote:
Fiction it is then, LS.
on November 7,2011 | 02:10PM
LemonySnickets wrote:
Wrong.
on November 7,2011 | 04:22PM
LemonySnickets wrote:
Wrong.
on November 7,2011 | 04:22PM
LemonySnickets wrote:
at Kuniarr. See even SA says you are wrong twice.
on November 7,2011 | 04:23PM
LemonySnickets wrote:
at Kuniarr. See even SA says you are wrong twice.
on November 7,2011 | 04:23PM
Kuniarr wrote:
Nope.
on November 7,2011 | 08:14PM
Kuniarr wrote:
LemonySnickets thinks that this is a forum for bad jokes. This guy needs to be banned.
on November 7,2011 | 10:58PM
kainalu wrote:
Wow. Somebody has been mixing the poisoned kool-aid.
on November 6,2011 | 02:11PM
Kuniarr wrote:
Indeed, this person who calls himself "LemonySnickets" should be banned for using this forum to post bad jokes.
on November 7,2011 | 11:00PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
People like acronyms: APEC sounds like OPEC..
on November 6,2011 | 03:53PM
Kuniarr wrote:
News item above: "Last month, Obama signed into law trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia, trade expansion that had been dormant for more than four years. " .....When will our leaders learn that the reason why the US is in an economic mess today is because of the efforts to increase exports via trade agreements - NAFTA and US-China Trade Agreement. Naturally, by enabling the US to export its products it also allowed the other countries to export theirs to the US. Result? The US imports far exceed its exports causing a mountain of a trade deficit each year and the loss of millions of jobs.
on November 6,2011 | 06:45PM
Leewardboy wrote:
It's good for business for the large corporations - they don't care where they make their money. Just look at NAFTA and our trade deficit with Mexico - it's U.S. corporations making profits by manufacturing goods in Mexico and exporting to the U.S. Huge profit for them - less jobs for us.
on November 7,2011 | 08:59AM
LemonySnickets wrote:
Fact or fiction? Mrs. Warren Pundilla. Old News if it was last month.
on November 7,2011 | 12:51PM
Kuniarr wrote:
Wrong. What is it about "News item above" that you do not understand, LS?
on November 7,2011 | 02:20PM
LemonySnickets wrote:
Really?
on November 7,2011 | 04:22PM
LemonySnickets wrote:
Really?
on November 7,2011 | 04:22PM
LemonySnickets wrote:
Blame SA for agreeing with me twice.
on November 7,2011 | 04:24PM
LemonySnickets wrote:
Blame SA for agreeing with me twice.
on November 7,2011 | 04:24PM
Kuniarr wrote:
Nope.
on November 7,2011 | 08:14PM
LemonySnickets wrote:
Really?
on November 8,2011 | 08:50AM
LemonySnickets wrote:
Really?
on November 8,2011 | 08:50AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
HSA, I would like to congratulate u guys on allowing free access to this online service during APEC week. No doubt in the Information Superhighway age, the dividends will be multiplied a lot, after our guests from all over the Asia and Pacific return to their homeland. Mahalo Nui Loa.
on November 6,2011 | 09:14PM
realist3463 wrote:
The politicians will strut and primp their feathers while the taxpayers get nothing but the bill. In spite of what we are being told by the politicians and the news, print and TV, there is NOTHING in this for the average Hawaii citizen except restriction from visiting areas of our own island. Glad I am off Island for a couple of weeks. VOTE THEM ALL OUT.
on November 7,2011 | 10:39AM
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