China and Hawaii Sign Memorandum of Understanding for Clean Energy Collaboration

Governor Neil Abercrombie and Secretary General Xu Hubin of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signifying the partnership to start a clean energy investment and deployment program in Hawai’i. The program will allow CCPIT to refer interested Chinese clean energy investors and developers to the Hawai’i State Energy Office in the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) to facilitate the matchmaking process with clean energy project partners in Hawai’i in need of capital or development partners.

MOU signing and remarks at the 2012 Asia Pacific Clean Energy summit and expo

This definitive MOU follows the Letter of Intent (LOI) signed by Governor Abercrombie and Mr. Yu Ping, Vice Chairman of CCPIT, last November at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Hawai’i-China CEO Forum, “Transforming to Clean Energy.”The letter stated, “there was invoked a spirit of collaboration between China and Hawai’i on clean energy development efforts, as passionately presented by esteemed panelists from Hawai’i and China.”

“That spirit of collaboration initiated during APEC continues today with a common goal,”stated Governor Abercrombie. “Hawai’i’s expansive mix of renewable energy resources, coupled with our aggressive approach to achieve energy sufficiency, is attracting­these kinds of global partnerships for clean energy research, development and deployment.”

Today’s signing ceremony took place at the 4th Annual Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit and Expo at the Hawai’i Convention Center. This international summit is being attended by local, national and international participants, including government, private-sector and energy industry leaders and officials from 20 countries.

Clean Energy Summit

“Hawai’i’s clean energy sector has catapulted over other states when it comes to the development of its clean energy industry,”said Richard Lim, director of DBEDT. “The MOU that sets our program with CCPIT will create an efficient process for foreign investors and developers to partner with clean energy companies here is Hawai’i leading to the economic growth of our State.”

Founded in 1952, CCPIT is the official trade organization for Chinese state-owned companies and has 16 Commercial Promotion offices outside China.

The Hawai’i State Energy Office has created an online form at where interested clean energy companies in Hawai’i can register to begin the matchmaking process with Chinese investors and developers.

Lt. Governor Brian Schatz – “Setting a New Course”

I have had the honor of serving as your Lieutenant Governor for the past year, and I am pleased to report that it has been a productive year for my office. We have memorialized our major activities and initiatives in an Annual Report which I would like to share with you today.

Click to read the report

The Lieutenant Governor of the State of Hawai‘i has essentially two legal mandates in the operation of his or her office.  The first is to serve as the assistant chief executive, becoming Acting Governor upon the Governor’s absence from the state.  The second, as the legally designated Secretary of State, is to manage specific services for the public.

When this administration took office in December of 2010, Governor Abercrombie asked that I assume additional responsibilities in the form of special projects and initiatives assigned to me by the Governor.  An overarching principal in the selection of initiatives was that they help guide the State through its period of economic recovery.

In a phrase, our objective was to stretch the office so we could work collaboratively with both government agencies and the private sector to focus on key targets.

Our Annual Report covers service improvements made within our office, the Hawai‘i Fair Share Initiative, the significance of hosting APEC, disaster relief, China trade and travel activities and initial efforts to make Hawai‘i the home for the Obama Presidential Center.

The Governor’s vision to utilize my office to the fullest is derived from his continued commitment to make the best use of governmental resources.  We face challenges ahead.  But there is a lot to build on after this first year, and I look forward to continuing to serve the people of Hawai‘i into the future.


Hawaii County APEC Expenditures… $90,000 Allocated

Well now that the 2011 APEC Hawaii Summit is over some are wondering if it was worth it for our state to put out such taxpayers money for an event of this magnitude.

“…The actual APEC cost to state government totaled $3.2 million, 57 percent lower than the original projected cost of $7.5 million.Schatz said one reason for the lower APEC bills was that protesters during APEC were peaceful, and there were no arrests.”A lot of those funds, those expected expenditures, were in the case that something happened that had to be dealt with, whether it was mass arrests, or an air quality problem or a need for overtime for law enforcement officers,” Schatz said…

Despite the fact that it is well known that the State did stock up on pepper spray and other measures that could potentially cause harm to protestors, Lt. Governor Schatz stated the State will ask the Federal government for some reimbursements of the cost:

“We were one of the only national security special events in recent memory where there were no lawsuits, because we weren’t about to use law enforcement as a premise to shut down people’s ability to express their viewpoints,” he said.The state will ask the federal government for reimbursement for all the extra APEC security costs.

A lot of folks on the Big Island are wondering what, if any costs were incurred by Big Island officials for this conference.
According to the recently updated Department of Finance, Purchasing Division, and Professional Services Awarded website it appears that $90,000.00 was allocated for APEC out of Hawaii County taxpayers money:
My guess is that the majority of this money went to a reception that was held on Wednesday, November 9th, the night before the APEC Conference began.
The county went all out on this reception greeting everyone that came in the door with an orchid lei from the Big Island.

Councilwoman Brittany Smart and Mayor Kenoi sporting Big Island leis

The event lasted from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm and consisted of heavy Big Island pupus…

Big Island Grindz

I don’t have a breakdown of where the $90,000.00 may or may not have gone to… but I assume the Big Island entertainers that were brought there were paid such as Na Hoku Hanohano Award Winners Kuana Torres Kahele and  Mark Yamanaka.

Big Island Musicians Rule!

And K’uipo Kumukahi:

Kuuipo Kumukahi

I can only assume that many county officials expenses were paid for such as air, hotel and car rental expenses… since they were there to “Promote the Big Island”.

Mayor Kenoi talks to a Washington DC Reporter while the cameras roll

Word went around the coconut wireless that folks were to wear clothes that represented the Big Island and I sure saw a lot of Sig Zane Design clothes there!

Mayor Kenoi and his wife along with Lt. Governor Brian Schatz sporting Sig Zane Designs Clothing from the Big Island

APEC VIDEO: Hawaii County Awardee for Hawaii Business Innovation Showcase – Big Island Carbon

Big Island Carbon is committed to close partnership with our clients to produce the highest quality activated carbon products using sustainable manufacturing with responsible environmental stewardship.


Big Island Coffee Growers Favor APEC Free Trade Deal

Earlier this week, Barack Obama, the US president, announced plans to create a free trade agreement with some Asia-Pacific countries during an Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit in Hawaii.

The decision comes as coffee growers in the US state struggle to keep their generations-old businesses going.

A Kona Coffee Grower say Asian markets are "willing to pay more for a good product than the average American Citizen".

Big Island growers say they are in favor of the proposed deal because Asian markets are “willing to pay more for a good product than the average American citizen”.


Al Jazeera’s Patty Culhane reports from Honolulu, Hawaii.

Video of President Obama’s Press Conference at the APEC Summit

President Obama makes remarks and takes questions about progress made at the 19th annual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation leader’s summit. November 13, 2011.


President Obama’s Speech Before Makana Sang His “Occupy With Aloha” Protest Song at the APEC World Leaders Dinner

This is the speech that President Obama gave at the Hale Koa Hotel in Waikiki shortly before Makana Cameron got on stage in front of the world leaders and sang his song about “Occupy with Aloha” (Note bold paragraph I emphasized).

THE PRESIDENT:  Good evening, everybody.  To all the leaders who are representing their countries here at APEC, I hope you’ve had a wonderful stay so far, and hope you had a wonderful dinner.  To members of the delegation, welcome.

Two years ago, when I was in Singapore and it was announced that we would be hosting the APEC Summit here in Honolulu, I promised that you would all have to wear aloha shirts or grass skirts.  (Laughter.)  But I was persuaded by our team to perhaps break tradition, and so we have not required you to wear your aloha shirts, although I understand that a few of you have tried them on for size, and we may yet see you in them in the next several days.

But one tradition that we did not want to break is the tradition of the luau.  Here in Hawaii, there is a traditional gathering that we call luau, and it’s basically an excuse for a good party, and it’s used for every occasion.  We have birthday luaus and graduation luaus.  And now we have APEC luaus.  (Applause.)  And there is — somebody is ready to party already.  (Laughter.)

We have music.  We have song.  We have celebration.  And we have hula dancing.  And Michelle does not think I’m a very good dancer, so I will not be performing this evening.  (Laughter.)  But I think we will have some wonderful examples of traditional Polynesian dance and music and song.  And it will capture, I think, the extraordinary spirit of these islands, but also capture, I think, the spirit in which I hope we proceed in our important work during the course of this APEC Summit.

We are bound together by an ocean.  We are bound together by a common belief and a common concern for our people — their aspirations, their hopes, their dreams.  And so I hope that all of you feel the extraordinary spirit of Hawaii and very much look forward to a wonderful set of meetings tomorrow.

So, with that, please enjoy. 

Makana Occupies APEC World Leaders Dinner… With Aloha

I’ve asked Makana Cameron to respond to some questions I posed to him about his protest song that he sang in front of the APEC 2011 World Leaders last nght… and if he is even as close to tired as I am… I don’t expect him to return my answers anytime soon.

Makana Cameron Occupy With Aloha

Makana Cameron "Occupy With Aloha" at the APEC 2011 World Leaders Dinner

In the meantime… the following video is going viral and when I have his direct comments posed to the questions I asked… I will post them later.

I find it interesting that they weren’t allowing filming with phones at the time considering the day before I was taking video and pictures of the luncheon with the world leaders.

Here is the actual video taken on 11.12.11 in Honolulu on the grounds of the highly secured Hale Koa military hotel and facility in Waikiki:


Makana writes:

My guitar tech shot this with a camera phone during my performance for the World Leaders Dinner at APEC, which was hosted by the First Family.

He had to be extremely discreet as Secret Service had warned those on site that any phones used to capture photography or video would be confiscated. Since he has a guitar tuner app on the phone we were able to justify having it out, but grabbing video was not easy. We were under constant surveillance. Personally I like to have video of every performance. It’s my art and my right.

About an hour into my set of generally ambient guitar music and Hawaiian tunes, I felt inspired to share some songs that resonated with the significance of the occasion.

I sang a few verses from “Kaulana Na Pua” (a famous Hawaiian protest song in honor of the anniversary of our Queen’s passing), then segued into Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower”, Sting’s “Fragile”, and finally my newest song “We Are The Many”.

My goal was not to disturb the guests in an offensive fashion but rather to subliminally fill their ears and the entire dinner atmosphere with a message that might be more effectively received in a subconscious manner. I sweetly sang lines like “You enforce your monopolies with guns/ While sacrificing our daughters and sons/ But certain things belong to everyone/ Your thievery has left the people none”. The event protocol was such that everyone there kept their expressions quite muffled. Now and then I would get strange, befuddled stares from heads of state. It was a very quiet room with no waiters; only myself, the sound techs, and the leaders of almost half the world’s population.

If I had chosen to disrupt the dinner and force my message I would have been stopped short. I instead chose to deliver an extremely potent message in a polite manner for a prolonged interval.

I dedicate this action to those who would speak truth to power but were not allowed the opportunity.

Me ka ha’aha’a,


Here is the full video of the song that he sang that he uploaded a few days before the APEC 2011 Concert:


President Obama Meets With China’s President Hu at APEC 2011

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Well, I want to extend a warm welcome to President Hu as he attends this APEC Summit, and we are glad to host him and the other world leaders who are attending.

This will be the first extensive discussions that we’ve had since our very successful state visit by President Hu to Washington.

As we emphasized at that state visit, as two of the world’s largest countries and largest economies, cooperation between the United States and China is vital not only to the security and prosperity of our own people but is also vital to the world.

Such cooperation is particularly important to the Asia Pacific region, where both China and the United States are extraordinarily active.  We are both Pacific powers.  And I think many countries in the region look to a constructive relationship between the United States and China as a basis for continued growth and prosperity.

As we did at the G20 in Cannes, President Hu and I I’m sure will be discussing issues related to economic growth, how we can continue to rebalance growth around the world, emphasize the importance of putting people back to work, and making sure that the trade relationships and commercial relationships between our two countries end up being a win-win situation.

And I look forward to the opportunity to also discuss a range of both regional and global security issues, including nonproliferation and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, ways that we can work together on issues like climate change, and our efforts to jointly assure that countries like Iran are abiding by international rules and norms.

And although there are areas where we continue to have differences, I am confident that the U.S.-China relationship can continue to grow in a constructive way based on mutual respect and mutual interests.  And I want to extend my appreciation to President Hu for the continuous engagement not only of him but also of the entire Chinese government in addressing a wide range of these issues.

So, welcome, President Hu, and I look forward to not only a good discussion here but also an outstanding APEC Summit.

PRESIDENT HU:  (As interpreted.)  I wish to thank you, Mr. President, for your warm invitation and welcome.  I’m delighted to have this opportunity to come to the beautiful state of Hawaii to attend the APEC economic leaders meeting and to meet with you, Mr. President.

This is the ninth meeting between you and I, Mr. President, since you took office, and I look forward to a extensive and in-depth discussion on China-U.S. relations, as well as major regional and international issues of shared interest.

As things stand, the international situation is undergoing complex and profound changes.  There is growing instability and uncertainty in the world economic recovery, and regional security threat has become more salient.  Under these circumstances, it is all the more important for China and the United States to increase their communication and coordination.

China looks forward to maintaining and strengthening dialogue and cooperation with the United States, to respect each other’s major concerns, appropriately manage sensitive issues, and ensure that the China-U.S. relationship will continue to grow on a sustainable and stable path.

This APEC meeting has drawn a lot of attention worldwide and we appreciate the tremendous work the United States has done in preparing for this meeting.  The Asia Pacific region is the most dynamic region in today’s world, with the biggest development potential.  This region should become a region of active cooperation between China and the United States.

I sincerely wish this meeting a full success, and I hope that this meeting here will send out a positive message to the international community that economies in the Asia Pacific region will reach out to each other like passengers on the same boat, and work together to ensure the continued, steady growth of the economies.

Thank you once again, Mr. President.

USAID Supports New Fund to Advance Food Safety

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) today pledged $250,000 to help launch a landmark partnership designed to improve the safety of global food supplies. Based on  Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) food safety capacity building initiatives, the Global Food Safety Partnership  is an innovative public-private partnership focused on improving systems and regulations that lead to better health outcomes, reduced risk of food-borne hazards, expanded participation of farmers and producers into higher value and global food supply chains, and improved food security. With the USAID contribution, the initiative has secured enough pledges to establish a fund to support country-led efforts to produce safe, nutritious foods. The fund, which will be administered by the World Bank, is the first of its kind focused on food safety.

Announced during the APEC meetings in Honolulu, the Global Food Safety Partnership will initially pilot and develop training programs, address high-priority food hazards, and strengthen laboratory capacity in APEC so that it can later be customized, expanded and delivered to Africa and other areas.

The objectives of the partnership are aligned with Feed the Future, the U.S. global hunger and food security initiative. Feed the Future places an emphasis on smallholder farmers, particularly women, to support countries in developing their agriculture sectors as a catalyst to generate broad-based economic growth and reduce hunger and undernutrition. With Feed the Future support, the World Bank-administered Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) has proven successful in supporting country-led approaches to food security and is leveraging significant investments from multilateral institutions toward improved global food security.

USAID’s pledge today for the Global Food Safety Partnership will complement investments in GASFP to further advance global food safety and security efforts. The pledge was announced by Nancy Lindborg, Assistant Administrator of USAID’s Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance.

“The Global Food Safety Partnership is designed to transform food safety, prevent food-borne illness and engage local farmers and producers in innovative safety practices,” Lindborg said. “By coordinating and collaborating, we can ensure access to safe, nutrient-dense foods, particularly for women and young children, in the very communities we seek to empower. This objective is at the core of Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative.”

Through Feed the Future, the U.S. works with partners to develop new means for reducing agricultural and food safety threats, such as contamination of the food supply. With a focus on building partnerships to leverage substantial private-sector resources, Feed the Future also advances sustainable growth in emerging markets to address the global food security challenge. These efforts promote the expansion of regulatory cooperation and effectiveness, which are high priorities for APEC, and align with the goals of the Global Food Safety Partnership. USAID’s commitment announced today, in combination with those of private and public sector partners, will help enable the Global Food Safety Partnership to serve as the premier focal point to maximize the impact of industry and government partners to support food safety for years to come.

Feed the Future, is the U.S. global hunger and food security initiative geared toward addressing the root causes of poverty and undernutrition. For more information, please visit

Remarks by Ambassador Kirk and Q & A With APEC Trade Ministers

AMBASSADOR KIRK:  First of all, let me thank all of you for your patience.  Let me especially extend my gratitude to my colleagues for what has been a very robust and engaged ministerial meeting.  Today we discussed a number of relevant and important topics to APEC’s goal of furthering our economic integration within the Asia-Pacific region.  It has been a very productive and successful ministerial meeting.

It has been my distinct honor and pleasure to host my fellow trade ministers for a second meeting as the United States host country for APEC 2011.  I must say that I could not agree more with the judgment of President Obama to bring us to his home state here in Hawaii, so I will begin by saying a warm aloha to all of you.

Of course, strong engagement in the Asia-Pacific region is a major component of the United States trade agenda, as Asia-Pacific markets are large and growing, and the region’s importance will only increase in the decades to come.  APEC — through APEC implementation of the U.S.-Korea trade agreement, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks, are pillars of U.S. strong, smart trade engagement within the region.

The United States believes very strongly in the importance and relevance of APEC, and for this reason, we have sought to ensure that our host year produces concrete deliverables that clearly benefit the entire region.  As a result of our work throughout this year, we ministers can present to the leaders meaningful steps which will strengthen regional economic integration and expand trade, including by improving supply chain performance and addressing next generation trade and investment issues.

We will also advance regulatory convergence and cooperation.  We will improve the quality of regulations and regulatory systems throughout the region.  We will increase global food security through open and transparent markets, and promote green growth, including by liberalizing trade and investment in environmental goods and services, and facilitating trade in remanufactured products, and streamlining import procedures for advance technology vehicles.

We have also successfully addressed challenges that small and medium sized businesses faced when doing business throughout the region.  We are working in APEC to break down barriers for small and medium sized exporters, as they are the overwhelming majority of exporters in each of our economies.  This includes reducing customs delays, improving access to export financing, and helping SMEs better protect their intellectual property.

The United States has a vision for the future of APEC and for trade across the region.  APEC has traditionally been a laboratory for some of the best and newest ideas in global commerce, and we believe the outcome of this year’s meeting will help keep APEC’s agenda on the cutting edge for the next 20 years.  We want to ensure that new regional agreements anticipate and address 21st century issues relevant to business within the region.

In that vein, this gathering should mark an additional milestone for a number of APEC economies.  The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) ministers expect that the leaders of the TPP countries will be able to announce the broad outlines of a high standard, ambitious 21st century trade pact.  And of course, many of us believe that the Trans-Pacific Partnership can be the basis for a long term APEC goal of free trade area of the Asia Pacific.

My fellow ministers, we can be proud of the work that we have accomplished together, not only this week, but throughout this year.  We have produced a meaningful report for our leaders, and I look forward to their work this weekend to further APEC’s critical goals for trade across our vibrant region.

So as we say here in Hawaii, Mahalo for the continued commitment, dedication, and innovation that each of you have brought to APEC’s effort this year.  And now, we’ll open the floor for questions.

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Remarks by President Obama and Prime Minister Noda of Japan Before Bilateral Meeting

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Well, I just want to welcome Prime Minister Noda to Hawaii, to the United States, for this APEC meeting.  I had the opportunity to have my first extensive discussions with the Prime Minister recently, and I have been extremely impressed already with the boldness of his vision.  And we confirmed, once again, the importance for both of our countries — the alliance between the United States and Japan is the cornerstone of our relationship but also for security in the Asia-Pacific region for a very long time.  And I’m confident that working together we can continue to build on that relationship in the areas of commerce, the areas of security, in not only the Asia-Pacific region but around the world.


And Prime Minister Noda, welcome to Honolulu, where I’m sure that we’ll have another round of productive discussions.  And I want to thank you and the people of Japan for your friendship.  We continue also, by the way, to be concerned about the rebuilding process in the wake of the terrible earthquake and tsunami.  And I want to assure you that the American people continue to stand beside you and ready to help in any way they can.

PRIME MINISTER NODA:  (As translated.)  Well, this is my first visit to Honolulu after 34 years, and this very morning I went to the Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific and laid a wreath there, and I got to see the panoramic view of Honolulu, and I renewed my recognition of how beautiful and great this city is.  And I would like to express my deep appreciation for hosting us in — here in Honolulu as the chair of APEC.

I’m very much encouraged by the fact that America is increasing its presence in the Asia-Pacific region, and I do believe that Japan and the United States must work closely together to establish economic goals and also establish security order in this region.  And I hope that in this meeting today I can discuss with you these issues.

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Thank you, everybody.

Remarks by President Obama at APEC CEO Business Summit Q & A

MR. McNERNEY:  Mr. President, few forums are watched more closely by those of us in the business community than APEC — testimony to the extraordinary opportunity it represents for both sides of the Pacific Rim.

President Obama Discussion at APEC 2011

As you know, APEC accounts for 55 percent of global GDP and is growing faster than the global average — significantly faster.  It represents 2.7 billion consumers, and purchases 58 percent of U.S. exports.  So I’m honored, very honored, to represent many of the wide-ranging interests of the business community on stage with you today.

Unlocking the growth potential that exists within APEC is a huge opportunity for job creation here in the United States and for our economic partners.  Secretary Clinton spoke about that yesterday within the context of greater engagement of women and small business, for example.  (Applause.)

Given that you represent — and I’m working my way up to a question here.  Given that you represent the largest economy in the group, your views on subjects pertinent to that growth potential are vital, and that’s what I’d like to explore with you here this morning.

Just to start at 50,000 feet, you just participated in the G20 meeting last week, where global growth was a — and threats thereof was a central topic of discussion.  With the benefit of the viewpoints exchanged at the G20 session, what now is your outlook for the global economy, and maybe with just an eye toward its impact on the APEC economies?

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Well, first of all, Jim, thank you for having me here.  Thanks to all the business leaders who are participating.  I understand that there have been some terrific conversations over the last couple of days.

I want to thank our Hawaiian hosts for the great hospitality.  (Applause.)  As many of you know, this is my birthplace.  I know that was contested for a while — (laughter and applause) — but I can actually show you the hospital if you want to go down there.  (Laughter.)  And I also have to make mention, first of all, that in all my years of living in Hawaii and visiting Hawaii, this is the first time that I’ve ever worn a suit.  (Laughter.)  So it feels a little odd.

Obviously we have just gone through the worst financial crisis and the worst economic crisis since the 1930s.  And one of the differences between now and the ‘30s is that the global economy is more integrated than ever, and so what happens in Asia has an impact here in the United States; what happens in Europe has an impact on Asia and the United States.

At the G20 meeting, our most immediate task was looking at what’s happening in the eurozone.  And if you trace what’s happened over the last two to three years, we were able to stabilize the world economy after the crisis with Lehman’s and get the world financial system working again.  We were able to get the economy growing again.  But it has not been growing as robustly as it needs to in order to put people back to work.  And my number-one priority has been to not only grow the economy but also make sure that that translates into opportunities for ordinary people.  And I think leaders from around the world are thinking the same way.

I was pleased to see that European leaders were taking seriously the need to not just solve the Greek crisis, but also to solve the broader eurozone crisis.  There have been some positive developments over the last week:  a new potential government in Italy, a new government in Greece — both committed to applying the sort internal structural reform that can give markets more confidence.

There is still work to be done in the broader European community, to provide markets a strong assurance that countries like Italy will be able to finance their debt.  These are economies that are large.  They are economies that are strong.  But they have some issues that the markets are concerned about.  And that has to be addressed inside of Italy, but it’s not going to be addressed overnight.  So it’s important that Europe as a whole stands behind its eurozone members.  And we have tried to be as supportive as we can, providing them some advice and technical assistance.

I think that we’re not going to see massive growth out of Europe until the problem is resolved.  And that will have a dampening effect on the overall global economy.  But if we can at least contain the crisis, then one of the great opportunities we have is to see the Asia Pacific region as an extraordinary engine for growth.

And part of the reason that we’re here at APEC is to concentrate on what you just identified as about half of the world’s trade, half of the world’s GDP, and a growing share.  And so the whole goal of APEC is to ensure that we are reducing barriers to trade and investment that can translate into concrete jobs here in the United States and all around the world.

If we’re going to grow it’s going to be because of exports; it’s going to be because of the great work that companies like Boeing is doing; it’s going to be because we’ve got high standard trade agreements that are creating win-win situations for countries, the way we were able to do bilaterally with South Korea just recently.  And if we can stay on that trajectory, letting this region of the world know that America is a Pacific power and we intend to be here, actively engaged in trying to boost the economy worldwide and for our respective countries, then I am cautiously optimistic that we’ll get through this current crisis and will come out stronger over the next couple of years.

President Obama Discussion at APEC 2011

MR. McNERNEY:  Fixing Europe obviously a priority, but the growth is here for now.  Although as I’ve traveled around the Asia Pacific region, I and others have detected a slight sense of unease and uncertainty among government and business leaders around whether the U.S. intends to maintain its role in helping to ensure the political, economic stability of this region, other forms of stability, including the free flow of communication and commerce.  I do know that Secretary of State Clinton and Secretary Panetta recently delivered some very reassuring remarks, which I’m sure didn’t happen by accident.  But I think your view on that, on this subject, is of great interest not only to the business community but to the community at large here in the region.

And so, how does Asia fit as a priority for our country?  And where is its place — in a multifaceted way, not just business — in the Asia Pacific region?

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  The United States is a Pacific power and we are here to stay.  And one of the messages that Secretary Clinton, Secretary Panetta have been delivering, but I am personally here to deliver over the next week, is that there’s no region in the world that we consider more vital than the Asia Pacific region, and we want, on a whole range of issues, to be working with our partner countries around the Pacific Rim in order to enhance job growth, economic growth, prosperity and security for all of us.

And let me just give you a couple of examples.  The APEC conference that we’re hosting here is going to have some very concrete deliverables around issues like regulatory convergence, which permits countries to all think about whether our regulations are as efficient, as effective as they can be, or where are they standing in the way of smart trade.

I’ll be traveling to Australia to celebrate the 60th year of the American-Australian alliance, and that will signify the security infrastructure that allows for the free flow of trade and commerce throughout the region.

The TPP — the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement that I just met with the countries who are involved, we’re doing some outstanding work trying to create a high-level trade agreement that could potentially be a model not just for countries in the Pacific region but for the world generally.

And so, across the board, whether it’s on security architecture, whether it’s on trade, whether it’s on commerce, we are going to continue to prioritize this region.  And one of the gratifying things is that, as we talk to our partners in the region, they welcome U.S. reengagement.  I think we spent a decade in which, understandably, after 9/11, we were very focused on security issues, particularly in the Middle East region.  And those continue to be important.  But we’ve turned our attention back to the Asia Pacific region, and I think that it’s paying off immediately in a whole range of improved relations with countries, and businesses are starting to see more opportunities as a consequence.

President Obama Discussion at APEC 2011

MR. McNERNEY:  You know, I don’t think the business community has fully understood the comprehensiveness of your approach out here, and I think — because it all does link together — security, business environment, bilateral trade facilitation — all these things really do link together.  And I think Secretary Clinton has made a very comprehensive case for it — we’ve seen in some of her published work and some of her speeches.  So this looks like –I wouldn’t say a major new direction, but it is something that is a major priority for you over the next number of years, is — am I capturing it right?

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  There’s no doubt.  It is a reaffirmation of how important we consider this region.  It has a range of components.  Now, some of those are grounded in decade-long alliances.  The alliance we have with Japan and South Korea, the alliance we have with Australia — the security architecture of the region is something that we pay a lot of attention to.  And we’re going to be going through some tough fiscal decisions back home, but nevertheless, what I’ve said when it comes to prioritizing our security posture here in this region, this has to continue to remain a top priority.

And on the business side, this is where the action is going to be.  If we’re going to not just double our exports but make sure that good jobs are created here in the United States, then we’re going to have to continue to expand our trade opportunities and economic integration with the fastest-growing region in the world.

And that means, in some cases, some hard negotiations and some tough work, as we went through in South Korea.  I think that was a great model of prioritizing trade with a key partner.  It wasn’t easy.  I said at the outset that I wanted — I had no problem seeing Hyundais and Kias here in the United States, but I wanted to see some Chevrolets and Fords in Seoul.  And after a lot of work and some dedicated attention from President Lee, we were able to get a deal that for the first time was endorsed not just by the business community but also was endorsed by the United Auto Workers and a number of labor leaders.  And that shows how we can build a bipartisan support for job creation in the United States and trade agreements that make sense.  (Applause.)

MR. McNERNEY:  You referenced Korea and Colombia, Panama — big, strong, pro-trade votes.  I mean, it was a major legislative accomplishment.  And the momentum that Ambassador Kirk talks about flowing into the Trans-Pacific Partnership — just let’s spend a minute on that.  You raised it earlier.  Do you see other APEC countries joining — the obvious question is Japan?  And how significant is the TPP for this region of the world and for the United States?  Is there anything else you’d like to say about it?

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Well, keep in mind that almost two decades ago when APEC was formed, the notion was to create a trans-Pacific free trade agreement.  Obviously the membership of APEC is extraordinarily diverse.  It reflects countries with different levels of development.  And so for many years that vision, that dream I think seemed very far off in the distance.

What happened was, is a group, a subset of APEC countries came together and said let’s see if we can create a high-standard agreement that is dealing with tariffs and non-tariff barriers to trade, but let’s also incorporate a whole range of new trade issues that are going to be coming up in the future — innovation, regulatory convergence, how we’re thinking about the Internet and intellectual property.

And so what we’ve seen — and we just came from a meeting in which the TPP members affirmed a basic outline and our goal is, by next year, to get the legal text for a full agreement.  The idea here is to have a trade agreement that deals not just with past issues but also future issues.  And if we’re successful, then I think it becomes the seed of a broader set of agreements. And what’s been really interesting is how, because of the success of these first few countries joining together, we’re now seeing others like Japan expressing an interest in joining.  And I’ll have a meeting with Prime Minister Noda later this afternoon and I’ll get a sense from him about the degree to which Japan wants to go through the difficult process involved.

And I don’t underestimate the difficulties of this because each member country has particular sensitivities, political barriers.  It requires adjustments within these countries where certain industries or certain producers may push back.  For Japan, for example, in the agricultural sector, that’s going to be a tough issue for them.

But we’re not going to delay.  Our goal is to try to get something done by next year.  And our hope is, is that if we can model this kind of outstanding trade agreement, then, potentially, you see a lot of others joining in.

President Obama Discussion at APEC 2011

MR. McNERNEY:  Sounds like real momentum.


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Mayor Kenoi at APEC 2011

Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi spent Thursday and Friday in Honolulu engaged in high-level talks with East Asian officials about investment and visitor industry opportunities on Hawaii Island.

Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi speaks to newsman Howard Dicus during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit Wednesday, Nov. 9 in Honolulu.

Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi speaks to newsman Howard Dicus during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit Wednesday

The mayor is participating in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation conference taking place this week in Honolulu. Leaders of nearly two dozen Pacific Rim countries, their ministers and other high officials are in Honolulu to discuss various economic opportunities and issues such as renewable energy.

Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi speaks to two reporters from the Guangzhou Daily News, the world's 24th largest newspaper in the world during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit Wednesday, Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi speaks to two reporters from the Guangzhou Daily News, the world's 24th largest newspaper in the world during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit Wednesday,

Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi speaks to two reporters from the Guangzhou Daily News, the world's 24th largest newspaper in the world during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit Wednesday,

Mayor Kenoi has also been interviewed by various local and international media outlets, including the Guangzhou Daily News, which featured the mayor on the front page of the Thursday edition of this large southern Chinese newspaper, the 24th largest newspaper in the world in circulation at 1.6 million editions a day.

Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi speaks to reporters from the People's Republic of China, Russia, South Korea, Vietnam, Japan and other Pacific Nations during an event hosted by the Hawaii Island Economic Development Board and the Hawaii Visitors Bureau

Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi speaks to reporters from the People's Republic of China, Russia, South Korea, Vietnam, Japan and other Pacific Nations during an event hosted by the Hawaii Island Economic Development Board and the Hawaii Visitors Bureau

“We want to let people know that there is an island called Hawaii, and that island is covered with natural wonders and great economic opportunity,” said Mayor Kenoi. “APEC is a once in a lifetime opportunity to do this on a world stage.”

On Wednesday, the mayor welcomed journalists from all around the Pacific Rim during an event in Honolulu hosted by the Hawaii Island Economic Development Board and the Hawaii Visitors Bureau. Journalists from the People’s Republic of China, South Korea, Russia, England and Vietnam as well as other countries had the opportunity to meet many county and state officials as well as leading businessmen from Hawaii Island.

“While we have extended invitations to these journalists to visit Hawaii Island, we understand that many of them came to cover APEC, so we did the next best thing to taking them to Hawaii Island,” said Kenoi. “We brought Hawaii Island to them.”


Hawaii Island is also represented by a display at the Hawaii Convention Center.  The Hawaii Island booth, which is being manned by county officials, features island products such as Kona and Ka’u coffee as well as island grown macadamia nuts and Kona potato chips.

Also represented from the Big Island was Business Innovation awardee Big Island Carbon, alternative energy company Sopogy, ocean thermal energy conversion technology developer Makai Ocean Engineering and a number of telescopes.

Joint Statement: APEC Ministers Agree on Enhanced Trade, Green Growth, Regulatory reform

APEC Ministers today committed to concrete actions to strengthen economic integration and expand trade, promote green growth and advance regulatory convergence and cooperation to achieve economic growth in the region.

At the end of their annual meeting, chaired this year by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, APEC Ministers released a joint statement outlining specific initiatives to advance the three priority areas.

“Global trends and world events have given us a full and formidable agenda, and the stakes are high for all of us.” said Secretary Clinton in her opening remarks.

“We are each trying to generate balanced, inclusive, sustainable growth that delivers good jobs for our citizens; economic, social, and environmental progress for our nations; and shared prosperity for this region.”

In their joint statement, Foreign and Trade Ministers agreed to actions on integration and trade, including by addressing next-generation trade and investment issues that a future Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific should contain.

“APEC has traditionally been a laboratory for some of the best and newest ideas in global commerce.  We believe the outcomes of this year will keep APEC’s agenda on the cutting edge for the next 20 years.  We want to ensure that new regional agreements anticipate and address 21st century issues relevant to business in the region,” said Ambassador Kirk.

“We also have successfully addressed challenges that small and medium-sized businesses face when doing business in the region,” said Ambassador Kirk when he discussed the outcomes of the APEC Ministerial Meeting at a joint press conference today.

Trade Ministers also discussed the Doha Development Agenda and released a standalone statement emphasizing “our collective deep concern regarding the impasse that now clearly confronts” the agenda and the reality that a conclusion of all elements is unlikely in the near future.

They committed to approaching the World Trade Organization trade negotiations “with a view to fresh thinking and a determination to begin exploring different, innovative and credible approaches.”

Ministers also reaffirmed and extended their commitment through 2015 to refrain from raising new barriers to investment or to trade in goods and services, imposing new export restrictions, or implementing WTO-inconsistent measures in all areas.

APEC Ministers acknowledged the uncertain global trading environment, including signs of increased protectionist measures, which continue to be a matter of serious concern.

Other areas targeted for action include: improving supply chain performance by establishing de minimus values that exempt shipments from customs duties; promoting trade and investment in environmental goods and services; and strengthening good regulatory practices by ensuring internal coordination of rule-making, assessing the impact of regulations, and conducting public consultations in APEC economies.

Secretary Clinton also hosted a High-Level Policy Dialogue with Ministers, senior officials and business leaders on reducing disaster risk and strengthening economic resiliency, in the wake of the Japan earthquake and tsunami, floods in Thailand and other recent natural disasters in the region.

Ministers issued a standalone statement calling on officials to work towards improving disaster resiliency, including by working with businesses to develop specific tools to help them prepare for natural disasters.

Secretary Clinton hosted a second High-Level Policy Dialogue on open governance, which, along with transparency, is critical to economic competitiveness, leading to sustainable economic growth.

“We share the belief that markets, trade, and investment are vital to our prosperity,” Secretary Clinton said. “So today, I look forward to hearing from everyone about ways we can continue to build an enduring regional economic architecture that is open, free, transparent, and fair.”

Releasing a standalone statement, Ministers said good governance should continue to be an APEC priority, taking stock of the group’s recent efforts to promote good governance, encourage ethical business practices and fight corruption.

Remarks by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on APEC 2011

SECRETARY CLINTON:  Good afternoon, everyone.  Let me begin by saying how pleased I am to be here in beautiful Honolulu for this APEC Leaders’ Meeting and the work that all of the ministers have been doing, and to have a chance to report to you briefly about the extraordinary efforts underway here.

Secretary Clinton Meets with Pacific Island Delegates

As you know, President Obama will be arriving back home shortly, and we will then embark on an extensive engagement with our partners in the Asia Pacific.  I gave a speech about this yesterday at the East-West Center.  We obviously believe that the world’s strategic and economic center of gravity will be the Asia Pacific for the 21st century, and it will be up to American statecraft over the next decade to lock in a substantially increased investment – diplomatic, economic, strategic, and otherwise.

Here at APEC, as hosts of the 2011 Leaders’ Meeting, we will continue to drive a positive rules-based economic agenda for the region.  And then when the President and I travel to Indonesia to participate in the East Asia Summit, we will continue with these efforts to advance a comprehensive regional agenda to promote security, economic growth, and universal values.

U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Ron Kirk and I have welcomed foreign and trade and economic ministers from across the region.  Today, I chaired two high-level policy dialogues on critical issues, disaster resilience and open governance, as well as holding bilateral meetings with senior officials from several countries, including China, Japan, Australia, Indonesia, and Vietnam.  We discussed a full range of issues from our economic partnerships to our security challenges to our shared humanitarian concerns.  In particular, I expressed solidarity with our ally and friend, Thailand, as it contends with the worst flooding in the nation’s history.

We also consulted on a range of other pressing issues.  Regarding Iran, we discussed the recent report raising serious concerns about the weapons-related work the Iranian Government has undertaken.  Iran has a long history of deception and denial regarding its nuclear program, and in the coming days we expect Iran to answer the serious questions raised by this report.  And the United States will continue to consult closely with partners and allies on the next steps we can take to increase pressure on Iran.

Regarding Syria, we discussed the ongoing and escalating violence perpetrated by the Asad government against its own people.  Our position is clear.  We are supporting peaceful transition.  Asad has lost his legitimacy to rule, and he should step down.

And regarding North Korea, I updated our partners on the exploratory talks the United States had with North Korea two weeks ago in Geneva.  We made clear what we expect North Korea to do in order to get back to talks, including concrete steps toward denuclearization.  North Korea must comply with its commitments under the 2005 joint statement of the Six-Party Talks, relevant UN Security Council resolutions, and the armistice agreement.  And we are awaiting North Korea’s reply.

So it has already been a productive few days here in Hawaii, and I know there will be a lot more work to do when the President arrives and begins meeting with the leaders.  And then that will continue, as I’ve said, as both the President and I leave Hawaii, he to go to Australia and then Indonesia; I to go to the Philippines, Thailand, and then Indonesia.

So with that, I’d be happy to take your questions.

MODERATOR:  We have time for two questions today.  The first one goes to AFP, Shaun Tandon.

QUESTION:  Thank you, Madam Secretary.


QUESTION:   Hi.  You mentioned yesterday in your speech that in Burma, you’re seeing the first stirrings of change in decades.  From your talks here and talks elsewhere, how serious are these stirrings?  Do you feel that the current government is committed on such things as releasing of prisoners and easing the violence in ethnic minority areas?  And what is the United States prepared to do to try to encourage those changes?

SECRETARY CLINTON:  Well, Shaun, as you know, Special Representative Derek Mitchell and Assistant Secretary of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Mike Posner visited Naypyidaw and Rangoon last week.  They met with a wide range of senior government officials, opposition leaders, representatives of civil society, and they reported back what we are seeing, not only from our own interactions but based on reports from other officials from other countries, that there is a substantive dialogue under way with Aung San Suu Kyi, important legislative initiatives including a new labor law and changes to political party registration law.  It appears that there are real changes taking place on the ground, and we support these early efforts at reform.  We want to see the people of Burma able to participate fully in the political life of their own country.

But we know there must be much more done.  We are concerned about the human rights situation, the political prisoners who are still in long-term detention.  We continue to call for the unconditional release of all political prisoners and an end to the violence in ethnic minority areas.  We urge the government to be more transparent in its relationship and dealings with North Korea.  So we are encouraging Naypyidaw to take steps toward political reform, to bring more openness and transparency.  We believe that the Burmese people share the same universal values that all people are entitled to, and therefore we want to see the encouraging signs continue and strengthen a transition to a broader political dialogue and eventually the kind of democratic and open society that we think would benefit the people of Burma.

MODERATOR:  Last question, Daniel Ryntjes, Feature Story News.

QUESTION:  Thank you, Madam Secretary.  I wanted to ask a kind of strategic question.  And the theory is that your situation is, in terms of the negotiations here at APEC, is somewhat constrained by the fact that, in the next year or so, there are going to be a lot of political transitions of power, a lot of elections – the United States, of course – and that is a constraining factor, and that’s why we can’t go towards the sort of ambitious targets that maybe were envisaged, say, six to 12 months ago.  Could you speak to that?

SECRETARY CLINTON:  Well, I think I would take issue with that characterization.  Our discussions focused on three key issues: growth and jobs, regulatory reform and competitiveness, energy efficiency and energy security, along with disaster resilience, open accountable government.  We think these are evergreen issues.  They are not issues that are here today and gone tomorrow.  They are issues that require consistent, persistent, patient work.  So we are exploring new ways to enhance trade.  The Trans-Pacific Partnership, which we’ve been working on very diligently, is, we think, moving quite well in the right direction.  We are looking to encourage the lowering and elimination of barriers to trade and investment, both at the borders and behind borders, and we are continuing to make progress there.  We’re improving regulatory quality and transparency.  And we think that if you look at the steady progress that has been made on these issues, there’s a great story to tell.

At the same time, we’re trying to promote environmentally sustainable growth, green industries, new opportunities to secure energy efficiency and energy security.  And that, too, is an ongoing commitment.

So I think that – I made a comparison yesterday which I really believe is apt.  And that is, if you look at how much time and effort was required to first create and then institutionalize the transatlantic alliance, all of the institutions that really make up the strong bonds between North America and Europe, we are promoting the same kind of long-term project here.  That’s what I mean about a pivot to the Asia Pacific.  And when you look back and think about the countless meetings, the endless discussion, the never-ending kinds of negotiations that took place over many years to establish the transatlantic architecture, we expect the same on the trans-Pacific architecture.  So I think we’re making progress, and it is a long-term commitment that will certainly last far beyond any of our times in office.

Thank you.

MODERATOR:  Thank you very much.

APEC High Level Policy Dialogue on Disaster Resiliency

We, APEC ministers and senior government officials, along with private sector leaders, met in Honolulu, Hawaii for the High Level Policy Dialogue on Disaster Resiliency, under the chairmanship of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11 along with additional earthquakes, floods, wildfires, typhoons and tornadoes among other events in the region, as well as the recent floods impacting Thailand, all remind us that the Asia-Pacific region is highly prone to the impacts of natural disasters.  They also underscore the importance of reducing disaster risk and strengthening the resiliency of our communities.  APEC, through its strong networks with the business sector, has a comparative advantage in encouraging greater private sector participation in disaster preparedness and resiliency efforts.  With these challenges and strengths in mind, and recalling the commitments made under the Hyogo Framework for Action as well as the APEC Trade Recovery Guidelines, we call on officials to adopt and implement the following objectives:

Provide businesses with tools to help them prepare

·         Promote voluntary standards for private sector preparedness to help businesses evaluate their own readiness and provide incentives for taking steps to prevent and mitigate the risks they face;

·         Promote standards and indicators for measuring the effectiveness of disaster risk reduction at both the economy-wide and regional levels to guide public and private sector investments and improve quality and consistency in implementation;

·         Promote and facilitate the use of Business Continuity Plans (BCPs), especially for SMEs, by appropriate means, including legal, market-oriented and social measures;

·         Promote financial instruments that help to respond and recover from disasters, as well as to transfer risk;

Facilitate the movement of goods and services during disasters

·         Recognize the importance of the supply chain and related infrastructure in the delivery of goods and services following a disaster;

·         Work through APEC fora to enhance customs procedures, and reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers, including domestic regulations and licensing issues that affect logistics and supply chain movements responding to a natural disaster;

·         Explore the use of customs and tariff waivers when host governments request humanitarian-related donations from the international community, taking into account existing guidelines and best practices;

·         Educate the public, business and government leaders on best practices for effective and appropriate donations to minimize the disruptions unsolicited donations can have on disaster response efforts;

·         Develop mechanisms for tracking private sector resources and capabilities;

Promote community based approaches

·         Recognize that communities are the first responders in disasters, and solicit participation and input from civil society, private sector, and local government stakeholders;

·         Promote early and frequent engagement of community groups and leaders in developing Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) processes and policies, and assist communities in identifying practical steps to improve community resilience;

·         Encourage technical assistance, research of best practices, innovation and training for decision makers at all levels, taking into account community-based and gender-based DRR approaches and incorporating traditional, local, and scientific knowledge;

·         Promote community-centered education on disaster risks and risk reduction through existing community groups;

·         Provide early warning assistance through technical monitoring of incipient disasters and timely early warning dissemination through to the community-level, and build early warning capacities within economies to evaluate rapidly-evolving threats such as tsunamis;

·         Encourage an enabling environment for community-centered DRR activities through local governance and economy-wide policy engagement;

Support research and education

·         Promote increased disaster resiliency by sustaining and improving early warning systems through increased data exchange networks, improved forecasting skills and training, and reliable dissemination strategies;

·         Emphasize the relationship of training, education, and outreach to decreasing community vulnerability to hazards;

·         Actively engage and support scientific and technical communities to inform decision making;

·         Support efforts to improve executive education to develop a new generation of disaster management leaders and promote interdisciplinary research as well as platforms for prototyping tools arising from that research;

·         Recognize APEC’s efforts to make schools safer in response to seismic and tsunami threats; and

·         Advocate for the inclusion of natural hazard disaster preparedness as part of school curricula starting in primary schools.

Promote public-private partnerships

Partnership between the public and private sectors is essential as the private sector owns and operates a great deal of an economy’s critical infrastructure and has experience and knowledge regarding resilient construction techniques, the development of sustainable urban areas, energy safety, and the protection of critical resources.  Recognizing the need to incorporate the private sector more substantively in our emergency preparedness efforts, APEC economies will develop public-private partnerships within their own economies and report on their progress next year.  In developing these partnerships, APEC economies will be guided by the following broad principles:

1.     Adopt a “Whole of Society” approach to developing and strengthening public-private partnerships that support business and community resilience to disasters. This includes involving all levels of government, non-government, and the private sector;

2.     Through public-private partnership programs, encourage a greater role for women in supporting disaster resilient businesses and communities;

3.     Strengthen public-private partnerships by sharing information, drawing on best practices, and learning from experiences;

4.     Leverage existing programs and resources, and strengthen partnerships that develop during disasters to sustain long-term public-private collaboration and avoid duplication of effort;

5.     Establish partnerships based on shared responsibilities and resources, with mutually agreed upon roles and tasks;

6.     Cultivate public private partnerships that are open to flexible and innovative ways of working together to build business and community resilience to disasters.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stops to pose with this hula halau from Oahu

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at the APEC Ministerial Kickoff

SECRETARY CLINTON:  Good morning, everyone.  Let me invite you, please, to find your chairs.  And we want to get started with this ministerial meeting kickoff, and I’m delighted to join with Ambassador Kirk in welcoming all of the foreign and economic ministers, the officials and representatives from APEC’s member economies, and the international organizations that are here today.  I would also like to acknowledge Mike Froman, chairman of the APEC Senior Officials Meeting, and all of the hardworking teams that have done the preparatory work in order for this meeting to be held and be successful.

The United States is proud to serve as host of this year’s APEC Leaders Meeting.  Global trends and world events have given us a full and formidable agenda, and the stakes are high for all of us.  We are each trying to generate balanced, inclusive, sustainable growth that delivers good jobs for our citizens; economic, social, and environmental progress for our nations; and shared prosperity for this region.

To accomplish these goals, we have to create a rules-based system that is open, free, transparent, and fair.  Working to make that system a reality has been the focus of all of our meetings this year, in Washington; in Big Sky, Montana; in San Francisco; and now here in Hawaii.   We even created an unofficial slogan:  “Get stuff done.”  And we have.

We’ve made tangible progress in three areas.  First, integrating markets and expanding trade.  We have focused on what we call next-generation issues – for example, by working to help owners of small and medium-sized businesses reach new customers beyond their borders.

Second, promoting green growth.  We have advanced a trade initiative for environmental goods and services which will help spur industries investing in green growth.  We’ve worked to reduce inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, which will help protect the environment by reducing the wasteful consumption of fossil fuels.  And we are renewing our commitment to reduce our energy intensity by at least 45 percent by 2035.

Third, deepening our regulatory cooperation and convergence.  In recent years, we have seen how improvements in this area can unleash billions of dollars in commercial activities.  For example, when a majority of APEC countries adopted a uniform safety standard for televisions in 2005, exports for the region increased by 45 percent over the subsequent three years.

I think that the steps we have taken have moved us forward.  We’ve reaffirmed our commitment to meet World Bank benchmarks that will make it easier to do business in each of our countries.  We’ve launched a new effort to make travel easier and more secure throughout the Asia Pacific region.  I’m pleased to announce today that the United States will begin issuing APEC business travel cards to eligible U.S. citizens in the near future.

And to ensure that our work reflects the real world challenges that confront the people who help power our economies, we consulted with a broad range of business leaders at key events on energy, innovation, and health.  At our meeting in San Francisco, for example, we engaged with CEOs on how APEC countries can more effectively invest in the economic potential of women, whose talents and contributions still, unfortunately, often go untapped.  And we reaffirmed – or we affirmed the San Francisco Declaration, which lays out a roadmap for how the APEC economies can and will maximize women’s contributions toward economic growth.

Now, I am well aware that we all have differences in our individual approaches to economic policymaking, but I also know that we share the belief that markets, trade, and investment are vital to our prosperity.  So today, I look forward to hearing from everyone about ways we can continue to build an enduring regional economic architecture that is open, free, transparent, and fair.  Above all, I hope we can continue to find ways to achieve real results and, yes, get stuff done.

With that, I’d like to turn to my co-chair, who many of you on both the trade and economic side, as well as the foreign ministerial side, have come to know because of his great energy and commitment.  Ambassador Kirk.

Senior State Department Official Readout of Secretary Clinton’s Bilateral Meetings with Chinese, Japanese, and Australian Foreign Ministers at APEC

MODERATOR:   Okay.  For your records, [Senior State Department Official], hereafter known as Senior State Department Official to readout the Secretary’s bilateral meetings today with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang, Japanese Foreign Minister Gemba, and Australian Foreign Minister Rudd, as well as to talk about her speech that she gave earlier this morning at the East-West Center.

Senior Official.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL:  Thank you, [Moderator].  And again, I apologize for keeping you all waiting.  Sometimes these meetings back up, so it’s great to see so many friends here today.  Let me just give you a little bit of a laydown of where we are today.

Obviously, we’re in the midst of probably, for us, the most consequential period of American foreign policy in Asia, perhaps in decades.  Really beginning with the visit of the Korean foreign minister with our President, and the passage of the Korea Free Trade Agreement.  Obviously, here in APEC, we’re making progress on TPP, working on a variety of specific initiatives for the leaders to consider of the major economies over the course of the next couple of days, the President then going to Australia and then to Bali for the first ever representation of the United States at the East Asia Summit, also the U.S.-ASEAN meetings and the bilateral meetings between the United States and Indonesia.

Secretary Clinton announced today that she – in addition to going to the Philippines, in which we will sign the so-called Manila Declaration, which really commits our two nations to work more closely together on a whole course of strategic interactions – she will also go to Thailand to represent the United States.  Thailand was, unfortunately, unable to – the prime minister – to come to APEC because of the tragic floods, and Secretary Clinton will be arriving in Bangkok next week with specific areas where the United States is going to provide urgent assistance amidst the worst flooding in the history of Thailand.

I think you all had a chance to see her speech today.  It is part of a series of speeches in which she is underscoring that the United States is in the midst of a substantial pivot in our foreign policy, as we responsibly draw down our commitments in Afghanistan and Iraq and focus more consequentially on our efforts in the Asia Pacific region, built on six pillars, including our bilateral relationships, which need to be strengthened, and revitalize our new partnerships with countries like India and Indonesia, a very important set of relationships with China, the importance of trade and economic interactions.

And I think we were all encouraged by what we’ve seen with respect to the passage of the Korea Free Trade Agreement, and that has given substantial impetus to the efforts associated with TPP.  More will be said on that over the course of the next few days.  And of course, we are in the process of diversifying our military commitments and engagements in the region as a whole, and we are committed to strengthening our engagement in multilateral fora as a whole.

Before that session, the President had a brief – the Secretary had a brief meeting with all of the leaders from the Pacific Island nations.  They are here in Hawaii as part of a major conference that is being undertaken by the East-West Center, and we’re looking forward to more discussions with them over the course of the next several days.  As the Secretary said, we often say the Asia Pacific region – we focus more on the A than the P.  We’re trying to rectify that and spend more time focused on the Pacific and working closely with our partners on a range of issues from climate change to the health of fisheries to the endemic health issues that basically are prevalent throughout the Pacific.

She had three very good bilateral interactions with foreign ministers that she knows very well.  This was her – nearly her tenth meeting with Foreign Minister Yang.  In those sessions, we underscored our determination to make progress on a range of economic issues, underscoring that it is important for us to be able to deliver a clear message to our people in the United States that this relationship is working for them.  And I think we made very clear the areas that we’d like to see progress on, ranging from macroeconomic policy to issues associated to – from international[i] property rights and also to – questions related to the treatment of human rights inside China.  So a whole set of discussions around our bilateral issues.

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Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton On America’s Pacific Century



DR. MORRISON:  How do you introduce the Secretary of State?  And I think the first thing I think of as a public servant, we sometimes hear the word public servant spoken in a kind of derogatory tone.  But the public servants that I’ve known, the members of our state and local government, members of our Congress, members of the international community, with a lot of volunteers and within a certain (inaudible) of the Department of State, are people who are incredibly dedicated and work tirelessly.

But there’s no one, I think, who is more tireless than the Secretary of State, and our own little vignette on this is that there was 25 years that the East-West Center saw no Secretary of State come to our campus.  And in the last two years, we’ve seen this Secretary of State three times.  (Applause.)  Now I have learned one other thing about her this time.  She is a risk-taker.  We told her that the weather was going to be raining, the program should be on the inside, and she told us that the weather was going to be fine – (laughter) – that the program was going to be on the outside.  And you can see who won the argument – (laughter) – but I think calculated and intelligent risk and something we also need in public service.

So I’m very pleased to present our Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.  (Applause.)

SECRETARY CLINTON:  Thank you.  Thank you all.  Aloha.

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