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APEC presents isle firms with a chance to network

By John E. Johnson

LAST UPDATED: 8:30 p.m. HST, Oct 20, 2011

QUESTION: What opportunities will there be for Hawaii companies to conduct business during APEC?

ANSWER: There’ll be any number of opportunities. Many representatives of the private sector from the 21 member economies will be in attendance. The CEO summit, which takes place Nov. 10-12, is the collection point; however, we hope to have other opportunities, and we are looking for venues outside of the summit for local Hawaii businesses to interact with attendees. Typically there are outside opportunities, but they haven’t been identified.

Q: How much access will there be for Hawaii’s business leaders during the event?

A: We hope to have a delegation from Hawaii’s business community at the event. People can express interest in attending on our website. The seating will accommodate about 1,500, but we are striving to have equal representation from the private sector of each member economy. Inside the venue, the schedule will be very tight. The U.S. Secret Service will set security requirements.

Q: How important is NCAPEC to Hawaii’s business community?

A: You won’t have that opportunity very often. Having the CEOs here is a big step for Hawaii. It’s a chance to expose them to how great a place Hawaii is and to how similar

issues that they face are handled here. It’s wonderful exposure for Hawaii. We want them to have a great time and come back.

Q: Are there any events that allow Hawaii’s business community to mix with NCAPEC? If so, which ones?

A: There have been receptions in the past. We are trying to take a creative new approach. It’s too early to say what we’ll be doing, but there will be opportunities.

Q: Where can people learn about the CEO Summit and other APEC business opportunities?

A: NCAPEC’s website went online (last) week. Visit www.apec­2011­ceo­ for more information. Local business people or delegations can express a desire to be invited to the CEO summit on the website. The event is by invitation only; however, there will be some other external opportunities for interaction. Sponsorship opportunities also will be outlined on the site in the next few months.

Q: How can Hawaii’s business leaders best prepare to take advantage of NCAPEC?

A: Preparation is really specific to the type of business and type of economy that they would like to interact with. Obviously, linking whatever the business is offering to a priority or business opportunity to an economy makes sense. Business cards are the first step in developing any relationship, especially with government and private-sector leaders from Asia. Time is limited, so it’s also important to have a good elevator pitch about what your business does.

Q: What kind of results have local businesses realized from NCAPEC in the past?

A: There’s anecdotal evidence out there that business opportunities are being created by these events. We want people to come for the program, but we know a big reason that they come is for the opportunities to interact with other business people and leaders. This interaction produces results.

Q: How attractive will Hawaii be to NCAPEC members?

A: I think, in general, the aloha spirit that is pres­ent here is attractive to everyone. It’s a very welcoming place.


Interviewed by Allison Schaefers, Star-Advertiser

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