Monday, March 8, 2010

APEC Japan 2010

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (or APEC), which turned twenty years old last November, is seeking a fresh way forward against the backdrop of the global economic crisis and the need to further boost open trade and investment in the Asia Pacific region. The coming two years offer Japan and the U.S. a golden opportunity to coordinate their efforts in support of the shared APEC goals, as Japan will host the 2010 summit in November in Yokohama while the U.S. will host the 2011 summit in Hawaii.

Unfortunately, the private sectors of both Japan and the United States tend to have at best a vague understanding of APEC's goals and accomplishments. Japan Society is here to help!

APEC 2010 SOM Chair Ambassador Shigeru Nakamura of Japan and his U.S. counterpart, U.S. Senior Official for APEC Kurt Tong, are going to join us on March 15th for a corporate luncheon to discuss the principal themes for APEC Japan 2010. These include regional economic integration; a strategy for promoting balanced, inclusive and sustainable economic growth; and further emphasis on human security issues to protect societies against a multitude of threats including natural disasters, terrorism, food security and pandemics.

The internet has been buzzing about Japan's new role as the APEC chair. The Japan Times discussed the busy year ahead and on East Asia Forum, Christopher Findlay of Adelaide University intelligently analyzed APEC's goals:

"Balanced, inclusive, sustainable and knowledge-based – these are the dimensions of growth which APEC is talking about. Put their first letters together and you get BISK.

This agenda comes out of a number of forces for change, including the response to the global financial crisis, the concerns which have been raised about the distribution of the benefits of growth within economies (and between them), the intersection of these developments with the climate change debate, and the twittering rate of technological change in the digital world.

So BISK wraps up these forces for change. There are at least two sets of issues. One is what it really means. Is there a core component or is this another list in the APEC list of lists?"

Make sure to read the rest of the article to learn more and then, armed with knowledge, come to Japan Society on March 15th to participate in what should be a fascinating discussion!

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