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Attendance below expectations for meeting of corporate leaders

By Andrew Gomes


The private-sector side of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation starts today in Waikiki, but registration for the APEC CEO Summit appears to fall short of expectations and past summits, according to the full list of participants.

APEC CEO Summit organizers had estimated that the two-day conference would attract 1,500 attendees, anticipating that the function, billed as the premier business event in the Asia-Pacific region, would be the best-attended in its 16-year history.

As of Tuesday, however, just shy of 900 participants were registered for the conference, according to a final list provided by organizers. The count is below the turnout for last year's CEO Summit in Yokohama, Japan, which drew more than 1,000.

Organizers did not respond to a request made Thursday morning to comment on participation in this year's CEO Summit, which is by invitation only and costs $3,800 for delegates, $1,000 for staffers and $750 for spouses to attend.

A media advisory on Tuesday also said the summit, which is planned and organized by the private sector with participation of government leaders, has "more sponsors, speakers, and dynamic interactions than ever before, underscoring the shift in business and global politics to the Pacific Century."

The CEO Summit is a series of panel discussions and networking sessions today and Saturday involving global company executives, policymakers, leaders of nations, academia, the media and others seeking to address issues facing the Asia-Pacific region.

This year's speaker lineup includes the leaders of a dozen countries, including President Barack Obama, Chinese President Hu Jintao and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

The bulk of participants are corporate leaders. More than half are from the United States (301) and China (234). About 45 are from Hawaii, including close to 30 business executives and more than a dozen government agency and office representatives. Only 32 participants are coming from Japan.

Paul Kosasa, president of the local chain of ABC Stores, said the CEO Summit presents an opportunity to meet and learn from titans in business and government.

"I'm looking forward to attending something of this magnitude," he said. "I go to a lot of conferences on the mainland. It's never this epic."

The CEO Summit takes place at the Sheraton Waikiki ahead of the APEC Leaders Summit. The Hawaii APEC Host Committee welcomed some CEO Summit participants Thursday evening with a reception that included Hawaiian musicians and cultural demonstrations such as kapa cloth making, poi pounding and stone carving.

CEO Summit sessions run today and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is scheduled to address the group this afternoon. Obama is scheduled to participate Saturday morning.

A golf tournament is being organized for Sunday at Kapolei Golf Course.

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HonoluluHawaii wrote:
"Organizers did not respond to a request made Thursday morning to comment on participation in this year's CEO Summit, which is by invitation only and costs $3,800 for delegates, $1,000 for staffers and $750 for spouses to attend." It is not the number of people, it is the number of people per capita that is important, I think. Last year's numbers were in Japan, which has a Hundred Million population. Hawaii has a million population, unless invitations were sent out to people on the mainland also.
on November 11,2011 | 01:15AM
Ronin006 wrote:
Political leaders and tourism officials have been claiming for months that APEC would generate $120 million in economic activity for Hawaii. I do not know how they come up with that number, but it will be interesting to hear what they now have to say about it with the lack of corporate attendance and interest. I haven’t heard it yet, but my head is already dizzy with the spin to come.
on November 11,2011 | 02:11AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
The economic activity from the 20,000 attending this APEC would be 20,000 x 250 x 7 = 35,000,000 dollars. Where is the other 85 Million? I am not an economist, so I do not know. Simple math at least shows that $35 Mil dollars would be spent. Now which is important, the amount spent, or the 4.71% tax collected. Well I am not an economist. In other words we are getting some stimulus to our economy.
on November 11,2011 | 06:15AM
serious wrote:
Who was it in his first year of office who barked at corporations for the "luxury" trips to Las Vegas????? Corporations are businesses they just can't print money like............
on November 11,2011 | 05:02AM
Publicbraddah wrote:
I hope the payback from having APEC in Hawaii is as predicted. I do know that it's affected retailers, big and small, in terms of lost revenue.
on November 11,2011 | 05:09AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Net, Net, there will be a gain. Now for the small retailers who would not have gotten the benefits of the typical tourist that may patronize them, well, Uncle Barry, Brother Neil and Cousin Peter, here is this message that I have for you: FOR GOODNESS SAKES WHY DID YOU NOT HAVE THE SUMMIT AT THE KANEOHE MARINE CORPS AIR STATION ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
on November 11,2011 | 06:46AM
1eyedjax wrote:
What's to gripe about? It's already planned and done. APEC is going to continue onward with its mission in Waikiki and Koolina NO MATTER what anyone voices out there.....don't like the traffic? Oh, well. Wondering how much money will infuse into Hawaii's econmny? Oh, well. Disagree with APEC's agenda? Too bad, so sad. Move on. Next in line.
on November 11,2011 | 09:40AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Mr. President, What are you doing about your Re-Election at this point in time?, Thank you.
on November 11,2011 | 11:32AM
Anonymous wrote:
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on November 11,2011 | 07:31AM
sukebesan wrote:
Hoping for gale force winds, heavy, heavy rainstorms, and an awesome lightning show all day and night at Ko Olina Resort, especially during the golf event.
on November 11,2011 | 09:28AM
PCWarrior wrote:
They are turning our island into a police state. Tanks on the overpasses. Barricades in front of building. Roads closed. Humvee escorts. Inconveniece to thousands of islanders. No access to our parks. Did I hear Seals going up and down the Ala Wai in a rubber dingy? OMG. If this is what APEC is, if this is what you have to do to have APEC. Well, you can keep it. We don't need it here.
on November 11,2011 | 02:49PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Concur. We are not going to meet and greet the dignitaries in public ANYWAY, so why not have them sequestered at THE KANEOHE MARINE CORPS AIR STATION, for crying out loud, MISTER PRESIDENT BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA. Then if they want to show their faces at Waikiki, then come show your face at Waikiki. If there is disruption to local mom and pop shops in and around Waikiki, including those on Kuhio Avenue and Kalakaua Avenue, then let us ASK FOR A STIPEND TO ALLEVIATE THE MISERIES.
on November 11,2011 | 02:56PM
LanaUlulani wrote:
It's a blessing in disguise considering that APEC is a Small Business Destroyer AND an Indigenous People Destroyer. No matter how their marketing team spins it ;)
on November 11,2011 | 08:14PM
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