Friday, October 1, 1999

Isles promoted at
Pacific economic summit

By Susan Kreifels


It's easy to get lost in the alphabet soup of international forums -- APEC, ASEAN, PBEC. But Hawaii got some special attention at such a gathering in New Zealand recently.

A summit of regional business leaders -- 250 chief executives of major companies -- and six heads of state received packets of information on Hawaii from the Pacific Basin Economic Council (PBEC), which has its international secretariat in Honolulu. The council used the opportunity to promote its annual meeting, to be held at the Hawaii Convention Center in March.

The leaders had gathered in Auckland, New Zealand, for the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, which included President Clinton and other heads of state.

Robert Lees, secretary-general for the Pacific Basin Economic Council, said it was an extraordinary forum in which to push Hawaii.

"It was the who's who of the region," Lees said.

Each delegate received extensive information on the March meeting and on Hawaii's economy, beauty and "the masterpiece of the convention center," Lees said. "It was good news for Hawaii."

Randy Tanaka, the Hawaii Convention Center's director of sales, said the APEC forum provided "the right audience to get our information out to, regarding the state and convention center. It's perfect for what we're trying to achieve here from a business point."

The Pacific Basin Economic Council is the region's oldest business organization, with more than 1,100 major corporate members from 20 Asia-Pacific countries. The corporations account for more than $4 trillion in global sales and employ more than 10 million people.

Lees has said the March membership conference will offer Hawaii a valuable opportunity to entice investment and show off the recently opened convention center.

Clinton has promised Gov. Ben Cayetano that he would try to attend the March gathering.

E-mail to Business Editor

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
[Stylebook] [Feedback]

© 1999 Honolulu Star-Bulletin