observatory at Mauna Kea

There’s more to Hawaiʻi than just sun, sand and surf. That’s the message the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation 2011 Hawaiʻi Host Committee is hoping to share with nearly 20,000 guests who are expected in the islands for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting in Honolulu in November.

And with expertise in all areas of excellence the host committee has decided to highlight, the University of Hawaiʻi plays a star role in the messaging.

Host committee members hope the world will see Hawaiʻi as a location well-suited for business investment. The four themes, dubbed pillars, that they have been chosen to spotlight are—

  • Clean energy
  • Sky, ocean and earth sciences
  • Life and health sciences
  • Business tourism, or MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions)

UH President M.R.C. Greenwood represents the university as a member of the APEC Hawaiʻi Host Committee. She believes the university’s unique strengths in astronomy, medicine, renewable energy and ocean and earth sciences position UH to be a leader nationally and particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.

“The university is actually one of the big investment opportunities in this community,” said Peter Ho, chairman of the APEC Hawaiʻi Host Committee and president, CEO and chairman of Bank of Hawaiʻi. “Here you have a research university in the middle of the Pacific, on U.S. soil, serving a population of 1.3 million. They’re getting over $400 million a year in grants. The ability is there to leverage opportunity out of that.”

Read more about APEC in Hawaiʻi and UH’s role in the October 2011 issue of Hawaiʻi Business magazine.

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