[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Thursday, September 06, 2007

[APEC in Sydney]
1. The APEC ministers had two good days of meeting. The discussions went rather well with climate change at the top of the agenda. Another important issue discussed was the long-term prospect of a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP). With the Doha Round not looking very good, the FTAAP idea is gradually gaining momentum.

2. With the Leaders of 21 economies in town, security in Sydney is very tight. Kilometers of high fences have been put up to secure an area around the hotels and meeting places. Sydney reminded me of Jerusalem. The security of President Bush is the primary concern and, to his credit, he has apologized more than once to the people of Sydney for causing them this inconvenience.

3. The organisation of the conference has been impressive. In every area, the Australians show high professionalism and competence. There are small problems of course but, generally speaking, the arrangements have been excellent. Next year, the host of APEC will be Peru. After that, in 2009, it will be Singapore's turn. We have a team here in to study various aspects of organising this major event. There'll be a lot of work to do.

4. This afternoon, I took part in a Business Summit. The opening speech was given by China's President Hu Jintao. He was personally introduced by Australian PM John Howard. President Hu gave a good speech declaring China's determination to be a responsible member of the global community. PM Howard said that China would become Australia's biggest trading partner in the coming year. China's remarkable economic development is benefiting countries around the world.

Do also read my posts on Beyond SG


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