NEAEF and Free Trade Agreements at APEC

This past week, UHM hosted the 20th anniversary Northeast Asian Economic Forum conference and quite a few of our APEC interns contributed. You can see news coverage here:

I wanted to quickly share insights from our session. There is anticipation of APEC discussions on several regional trade agreements. In addition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), discussions are underway for a China, Japan, Korea (CJK) trade agreement. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is also deepening its interactions with partners in the region. The NEAEF resolution should be posted soon at

Graduate students Kanae Tokunaga, Tenzing and Olga Bogach Moulton were instrumental, as were Nai Yang Chang and Kyung Ri Lim.

Pacific and Asian Affairs Council

The APEC interns are officially working with PAAC!

What is PAAC?

The Pacific and Asian Affairs Council (PAAC) is an independent, international education 501(c)3 nonprofit with a mission to promote a greater awareness and understanding of foreign affairs issues with special attention to Hawaii’s role in the Asia-Pacific region.

Since 1954, PAAC has provided global education to more than 77,000 high school students, 100,000 college students, and 80,000 community members statewide; and have hosted approximately 700 international visitors through the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP).
                                                                                                                                                PAAC is deeply involved in 4 programs on various levels:                                                                
  1. College & University program
  2. Forums
  3. High School Program
  4. International Visitor Leadership Program

For more details this information can be found at:

Where do the APEC interns come into play?

The APEC interns, led by Joshua Boney, will help with the up and coming Chevron Academic WorldQuest Competition held at the UH Campus Center Ballroom. This competition is an exciting team quiz game where high school students from different schools across the Hawaiian Islands, both private and public alike, compete in teams of 4 to win the state title. As well as, win the chance to compete in the National Academic WorldQuest Competition coordinated by the World Affairs Council of America in Washington D.C.

This year the competition has an APEC lean and will call on the expertise of the APEC interns. The APEC interns will create the study guide, questions and answers for the entire competition, at PAAC’s discretion. And will have increasingly more roles as time moves forward.

Professor Robert L. Curry, Jr.

This summer at UHM, we are lucky to have an amazing professor teaching the only APEC-designated economics course called Contemporary Economic Issues: APEC (or ECON 496). Right now we are midway into the course and I am really enjoying it so far. Dr. Robert Curry is passionate about having the students understand the meaning behind APEC’s goals and tying it with how they affect economic and social development in the Asia-Pacific. I also really enjoy hearing about his experiences of teaching abroad in Asia.

For students interested in learning about APEC a little bit more in depth, some recommended reading materials are:

Southeast Asia: The Long Road Ahead by C. Y. Lim
East Asian Visions: Perspectives on Economic Development by I. Gill, et al
APEC at 20: Recall, Reflection, and Remake by H. Lim and K. Kesavapany

I’m excited about what’s ahead in the rest of the course!

More about Dr. Curry:

Professor Robert L. Curry, Jr. received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Oregon, and subsequently he has taught at the National University of Singapore, Vietnam National University, Burapha and Ram-Khamhaeng Universities in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, Thailand, and universities in Africa and the U.K. Dr. Curry has focused his career primarily on international development in Southeast Asia. He has also been a Fulbright lecturer in Liberia and Zambia. Dr. Curry has been a consultant to the World Bank in Washington and Jamaica, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in Geneva, the official development assistance programs of the United States, and the Canadian bi-lateral development program to Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland. He has also been a consultant to trade union organizations in Zambia, Kenya, and Egypt. His publications on East Asia have appeared in the ASEAN Economic Review, Pacific Affairs, Southeast Asian Affairs the Journal of Third World Studies and elsewhere.