The APEC Interns have had an amazing first day of school here at UH Manoa! After getting up before sunrise to make an appearance on KITV’s Morning Show, later that day we had a private lunch with Governor Abercrombie. As we dined with the governor, Chancellor Hinshaw and our own Professor Konan we learned that the governor visited many of the 21 economies that will be coming to Honolulu for the 2011 APEC Summit.
When asked what he felt about the APEC Summit being held in Hawai’i, Governor Abercrombie made three points. First, the governor “hates it when Hawai’i is referred to as a crossroads because it implies that people are just passing through.” He feels that Hawai’i should be a destination, the final place to go, not only for tourists but business conventions, rather than a passing-through point.
Secondly, Hawai’i is geographically the prime location of the Asia-Pacific. Because of its location in the Pacific, it is centrally located to mainland of the United States, Japan, China and many of the other APEC economies. Not just the tourism driver of the United States. Nothing else beats it.
Third, Hawaii’s rich diversity. Governor Abercrombie said that is what attracted him to Hawai’i years ago and it is the thing most endearing to him today. The diverse community and aloha spirit between the various communities is a treasure that depicts what APEC is about. Inclusion and cooperation.
How exciting the first day of this Fall Semester was for the APEC interns! More excitement is sure to abound as the APEC Summit gets closer! Stay tuned and informed here on our blog. And please be sure to check out the UHERO website and APEC101 FaceBook page.
Mahalo nui loa!
Kathy L. Aldinger
UH APEC Communications Intern