When the president attended last year's APEC meeting in Singapore, he said U.S. ties to Asia-Pacific nations are strong and enduring, and, in the words of a White House statement Thursday, "critical to the prosperity of the American people."
APEC stands for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. It is a full-time organization, perhaps the single most important regional association of countries, and virtually every nation in the hemisphere belongs to it.
The Honolulu meeting will be bracketed by a meeting this year in Yokohama and one in 2012 in Vladivostok.
When it was first announced, during the Hawaii recession, that Honolulu would host the meeting at a cost of millions of dollars, there were some objections to the cost and questions about the value to the state, but the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii backed the decision.
The Hawaii Convention Center reports that several large U.S.-based professional and trade groups that have held annual meetings in Honolulu have revealed that the venue resulted in a spike in paying attendees from Japan, Korea and China.