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Richard Attias

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APEC's Challenge: It's Still the Economy

Posted: 11/08/11 04:01 PM ET

Last week saw the end of the G20 summit in Cannes, with the attendant focus on the Euro crisis. At the end of this week another meeting will be held which will hopefully have a more optimistic outcome: the APEC CEO summit, bringing together business leaders from the Asia Pacific region and beyond.

The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation is made up of swiftly growing nations like China, Indonesia, Russia, Korea and Mexico and established economies such as Australia, Japan and the United States. These countries represent a weighty financial bloc. Together they make up 60 percent of the world's GDP, 33 percent of its population, 47 percent of its trade volume -- and, leaders hope, they will power the engines of the global recovery.

When the G20 winded down on Friday a fragile consensus had been reached, an "action plan" for the globe's economy (albeit light on some of the detail). President Obama praised Europe's politicians. "I think that there are going to be some ups and downs along the way," he said, according to CNN. "But I am confident that the key players in Europe -- the European political leadership -- understand how much of a stake they have in making sure this crisis is resolved."

APEC takes up similar concerns on a broad platform. Its 21 nations will discuss the future of business and the role of technology. Globalization will be a dominant theme: how do we pursue a global solution to problems which, in an interconnected world, affect so many countries? Hillary Clinton will talk about the role of women in today's economy and the president of the United States, Barack Obama, will be interviewed on-stage by Boeing CEO, Jim McNerney.

The great thing about APEC is that it creates an opportunity for world leaders to have a dialog with private businesses. From the private sector Eric Schmidt of Google, William C. Weldon of Johnson & Johnson and many other high caliber CEOs and chairmen will participate. They will explain what their firms can offer when it comes to science, technology and innovation.

My company, Richard Attias & Associates, is producing the summit on behalf of the National Committee APEC, which takes place from November 10-12 in Honolulu. We are proud to play a part in this gathering of world leaders. This is a pivotal moment in global history. As I have said in the past we need leadership from those we have elected to govern us more than ever before.

For that reason I hope that APEC be a fruitful ground for conversation, and a turning point for all of our interconnected economies.