Maui Business

APEC Working Groups Open Doors for Hawaii Business

May 19, 2011, 10:36 AM HST
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By Sonia Isotov

Working groups on tourism, energy, life sciences, and dozens of other issues will meet at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in November and the Hawaii Host Committee is encouraging the Hawaii business community to get engaged.

Meeting virtually and in person, APEC groups work on many issues of direct interest to Hawaii. The Hawaii Host Committee points to the APEC’s Tourism Working Group as one example where Hawaii business community can connection and find opportunities across the Asia-Pacific region all year long.

For example, the Tourism Working Group is drafting a five-year strategic plan for APEC’s 21 member economies that will be considered when the group meets next month in the Philippines.  The Tourism Working Group has also developed the APEC Business Travel Card, which expedites business travelers through immigration in APEC member economies. 

Not only government officials, but also business people and academics from APEC member economies take part in the work and events of APEC committees, working groups and forums.  Contact information provided for each group on the APEC website can help people connect with the U.S. “shepherd” who leads U.S. involvement in that group.


Another example of a Hawaii institution that has already plugged into APEC at the working group level is the University of Hawaii. UH and the East West Center connected with APEC’s Education Network to collaborate on a project that will focus on the quality of higher education.  As part of the project, higher education leaders and stakeholders from the region will gather in Honolulu in August 2011 for a three-day symposium designed to identify and share benchmarks and encourage collaborative efforts.  UH will also host the annual workshop of the APEC Climate Center (APCC) in October 2011 at which scientists from across the region will devise recommendations on regional adaptation.


Connecting with APEC at the working group level can open doors to new information, new business and new contacts.

The full list of APEC committees, working groups, forums and topics is available at Documents produced by APEC working groups and schedules for upcoming events are also listed online.  Meetings cover a range of issues from trading financial services to biogas resources development, marine resources conservation, transportation, telecommunications and more.

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