APEC protests: What are the tradeoffs?


The 2011 APEC convention will take place in Honolulu in a matter of days, and as leaders from 21 Pacific Rim Countries arrive to discuss trade and economic ties in our region of the world, O’ahu residents are saddling up for some serious traffic. Some island residents, as well as mainland visitors, are also decrying the perceived pomposity of the event, reminding us that many citizens of APEC member countries live in squalor and poverty while their government officials “take a Hawaiian vacation”. In light of some of this sentiment, it might be important to look at some of the actual economic benefits that all countries experience as a result of trade. This is not to diminish the importance of protecting domestic jobs, indigenous peoples, and industries. However, a primary purpose of the APEC convention is to promote trade and economic prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region, and could be over-simplified into the following Wikipedia definition of “Absolute Advantage”:
“In economics, the principle of absolute advantage refers to the ability of a party (an individual, or firm, or country) to produce more of a good or service than competitors, using the same amount of resources. Adam Smith first described the principle of absolute advantage in the context of international trade, using labor as the only input.
Since absolute advantage is determined by a simple comparison of labor productivities (and availability of necessary resources), it is possible for a party to have no absolute advantage in anything; in that case, according to the theory of absolute advantage, no trade will occur with the other party. It can be contrasted with the concept of comparative advantage which refers to the ability to produce a particular good at a lower opportunity cost.”
In light of this simple Wikipedia definition, we should encourage our leaders to make wise decisions on how to manage trade relations between countries. It is not naive to say that if trade policy is done correctly, it can benefit all countries involved while helping our own wounded economy.

Aloha, Torey Jenkins

2011 North American Leaders’ Summit


Statement by the White House Press Secretary on the North American Leaders’ Summit:
President Obama will host Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada and President Felipe Calderon of Mexico for the North American Leaders’ Summit in Honolulu, Hawaii on November 13, 2011.  The meeting will build on wide-ranging, on-going cooperation among the United States, Canada, and Mexico with a particular focus on competitiveness, citizen security, energy and climate change, and North America’s role in the Americas as well as in global economic, political, and security issues.  The last North American Leaders’ Summit was hosted by President Calderon in Guadalajara in August 2009.

APEC Youtube Video Contest!



Attention UH Manoa Students!
Here is a great chance for you win an iPad, Visa Cash Cards and more gift cards! Check out the UHM APEC Video Contest!
Send us a 2-4 min video on “What does APEC mean to you as a UHM student” to apec2011video@gmail.com


Deadline for application and video : October 28 2011 Midnight
Prize: 1st place  – $1,000 or iPad+Apple Store Gift Card (equal to $1,000)
          2nd place – $500 Visa Cash Card
          3rd place –  $250 Visa Cash Card
          4th place –  $150 Visa Cash Card
* Prizes may increase depending on sponsorships.
* No letters of recommendation and No resumes!

For more information and application, visit:


Elim Chew


Ashley and I were so fortunate to attend yesterday’s 2011 Hawaii International Women’s Leadership Conference at the Sheraton! All the speakers were phenomenal, and I wanted to take note of one speaker that truly inspired me.

Inside the 8th Annual Hawaii International Women's Leadership Conference

Singapore’s Elim Chew is an is much more than an entrepreneur.


As the President & Founder of Singapore’s leading retail chain, 77th Street, “Elim Chew helps youth and young adults realize their dreams, and believes businesses can do well and do good at the same time to create a more sustainable, inclusive and a better world.”


I spoke with Elim, and she mentioned that she also participated at APEC’s Women and the Economy Summit (WES) in San Francisco, hosted by Hilary Clinton. This summit included senior government officials and private sector leaders from all the APEC economies. This summit was in part of APEC’s SOM3 meeting. On the agenda were the topics of:

  • fostering women’s economic empowerment, and
  • focus on access to markets and capital, capacity building, and leadership
Elim’s “PhD” or PASSION, HUNGER, AND DRIVE empowers women and young children everywhere. She instills the importance of having an entrepreneurial mindset, regardless of your background and how old or young you are. One message I took away from her speech was the “10,000 hours of practice,” a concept adopted from the book “The Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell. 10,000 hours of practice of doing what you LOVE is required for mastery of the skill. Why not start now? 🙂

Elim and I speak briefly after her speech. Thank you!!!

Check out her bio to find out more (source: APEC Women Leaders Network), and
her Youth Outreach and Community Outreach organizations here:

Hawaii Kokou Mural Project Artists


APEC Intern Meeting with Hawaii Kakou Mural Project Artists!
Big Mahalo to Roopal and Meleanna for joining us for an insightful discussion on cultures of 22 economies (21 APEC economies + the indigenous cultures!)

UHERO APEC interns are working with the indigenous artists of Hawaii in creating a grandiose mural in the convention center! It will reflect cultures and values of 22 economies. We are very excited to be involved in this project.

If you are from one of the 22 APEC economies and would like to share stories about your heritage and culture, please contact us!

Some questions you may answer about your culture are: “What are family values that are important to me? How have they been passed down from generation to generation? Why do these values apply to me and my everyday life?”

Your insights are inspiration for the artists to create the mural!


Pacific Forum CSIS 2011 APEC Conference


The 2011 APEC Conference is being co-hosted by House Representative Karen Awana and Pacific Forum at the Hawaii State Capitol on November 4, 2011.

This is a wonderful opportunity for undergrad and grad students to participate in model APEC leaders meeting on the topic of climate change. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, September 21. Sign up now!

Please refer to the website for more information and how to apply:




APEC Interns Lunch with Governor Abercrombie



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.

Gov. Abercrombie with Chancellor Hinshaw and APEC Interns

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.

KITV and UH APEC Interns Back to School with Professor Konan

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