Posted by Craig Mundie
Chief Research and Strategy Officer
The United States this week took one more step forward in its plans to host the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) year in 2011. Microsoft joined with Chevron, Federal Express, JP Morgan Chase, Procter & Gamble, Underwriters Labs, and Walmart as founding members of the 2011 private sector host committee. I am honored to chair the APEC 2011 Host Committee. [APEC membership is drawn from 21 countries on the Pacific Rim from Asia, Latin America and North America.]
Hosting APEC in 2011 is a key opportunity for the United States to reassert its leadership on broad economic issues affecting not only business but also health, education and security in Asia. Secretary Clinton framed this opportunity perfectly in her speech in Hawaii earlier this year, when she said that “America’s future is linked to the future of the Asia-Pacific region; and the future of this region depends on America.” We could not agree more.
The 21 APEC economies represent 2.5 billion consumers and 60% of the world’s global income. For the United States, some 60% of our exports are destined for APEC economies. Our partnerships in Asia are essential to our economic growth.
As the global economy begins to recover, we share with our partners in Asia the common objectives of creating jobs and economic opportunity to raise living standards. This is a crucial moment for U.S. leadership and the public-private partnership that we enjoy in America. For all of the companies involved, and for our country, hosting APEC 2011 is a pivotal event in U.S. engagement in this important region. We are committed to building and working in a strong partnership with the Administration and Congress to ensure successful outcomes for both government and the private sector throughout the year. With the Administration and Congress, including the important APEC Caucus in the House, we have put in place a three-way partnership for a successful APEC year in 2011.
Joining us at the launch were U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus and Representative Kevin Brady, a co-chair of the House Caucus on APEC, and Bob Hormats, Under Secretary of State for Agricultural, Economic and Business Affairs (insert others). All are outspoken leaders who are working to strengthen U.S. economic relations with our partners in the Asia Pacific.
The inauguration of the Host Committee demonstrates the private sector’s commitment to APEC, and its readiness to partner with the U.S. government to ensure a successful APEC year. The APEC year is very important: it culminates with a Leaders’ meeting and a major business event. In 2011, President Obama will be the host in Honolulu, in November. Having attended APEC CEO Summits for many years, I’ve seen first-hand that these meetings create a unique opportunity to engage business and governments about real challenges that we can collectively address.
But in 2011 we aren’t just focused on the final event in Honolulu; we have the opportunity throughout the year to engage with government and communities around the U.S., and with our partners in Asia on our strategy for building partnerships with the Asia-Pacific.
There is still time for companies to engage and join the Host Committee. The APEC year presents a terrific challenge and a great opportunity for our country. Additional information about the U.S. APEC year and the host committee can be found at http://www.APEC2011USA.org.