Northeast Asia economists to meet in Honolulu, Aug. 8-9

20th Northeast Asia Economic Forum is precursor to November's APEC meeting in Honolulu

University of Hawaiʻi
Denise Konan, (808) 956-8730
Professor and Chair, Department of Economics
Mi-Eun Kim, (808) 532-8677
Northeast Asia Economic Forum
Posted: Aug 3, 2011

UH Manoa Department of Economics Chair Dr. Denise Konan and NEAEF Chairman Dr. Lee-Jay Cho
UH Manoa Department of Economics Chair Dr. Denise Konan and NEAEF Chairman Dr. Lee-Jay Cho
Participants in this year's NEAEF Young Leaders Program
Participants in this year's NEAEF Young Leaders Program
The Northeast Asia Economic Forum (NEAEF) announces its 20th annual conference, which will be held in Honolulu August 8-9 at the Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki. This conference will be held as the precursor to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in November 2011. The conference is jointly organized by the Hawaii Asia-Pacific Institute/Northeast Asia Economic Forum and the University of Hawaii at Manoa's College of Social Sciences.
Since 1991, NEAEF has served as a vehicle for exchange of information and ideas through dialogue, education and training among Northeast Asian and North American policymakers, businesspersons, academics, and members of nongovernmental organizations.
The initial idea for the creation of a Pacific economic community came from Northeast Asia. Former Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Okita Saburo, in collaboration with Australia, proposed to establish the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC), founded in 1980, which served as a step toward the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).
Northeast Asian countries and the United States have accounted for the lion’s share of GDP of APEC nations, amounting to about 80 percent. Northeast Asian countries are therefore crucial in the successful continuation of APEC’s mission. For these reasons, NEAEF Co-Founder Dr. Okita Saburo advocated for Japan’s active participation along with the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Korea.
This year, the 20th NEAEF conference will focus its discussions on trade and economic partnership, energy, cross-border infrastructure and financing, which represent the major substance of the APEC Summit.
NEAEF is the only non-governmental organization in the region in which all of the nations of Northeast Asia and the United States have been consistent and active participants. Dr. Lee-Jay Cho serves as chairman of the NEAEF, whose secretariat is located in Honolulu. Partnership with the NEAEF is extended to interested individuals and institutions both within the region and internationally.
International participants at this year's forum include:
  • Dr. Taro Nakayama, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan and a founding member of NEAEF;
  • Mr. Zhenghua Jiang, Vice-Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Ninth National People’s Congress of People’s Republic of China;
  • Mr. Glyn Ford, Former Member of the EU Parliament and Chair of East Asian Policy Committee;
  • Dr. Yamazawa Ippei, Institute of Developing Economies-Japan External Trade Organization, Japan;
  • Mr. Wang Shuzu, Former Vice Mayor of Tianjin City, China;
  • Dr. Pavel Minakir, Academician and Director, Economic Research Institute, Far East Branch, Russia Academy of Sciences;
  • Dr. Maeda Tadashi, Head, Corporate Planning Department, Japan Bank for International Cooperation and Special Advisor to the Cabinet, Japan;
  • Mr. Bahk Byongwon, Former Vice Minister of Finance and Planning and Senior Economic Advisor to the President, Republic of Korea.
The forum is scheduled in Honolulu this year in hopes that the discussions and conclusions flowing out of the meeting will contribute to the deliberations of national leaders and officials at the APEC meeting in November.
In conjunction with the conference, the forum's Sixth Young Leaders Program is currently taking place through August 11 at UH Mānoa.  Since 2006, NEAEF has awarded fellowships to advanced students and rising professionals from Northeast Asia and the United States to participate in the annual program. This year, the program accepted 30 candidates from the United States, Russia, China, Japan, Mongolia and South Korea.
The rigorous two-week program consists of daily presentations concerning regional issues of energy and environment, transportation and logistics, trade, finance, education, regional history and population studies. An international faculty of leading academics, representatives of international organizations, NGOs, government officials, parliamentarians, and heads of industry will lead seminars and workshops.
The practicum section consists of a series of collaborative group work, problem-solving exercises, individual presentations, as well as cultural and educational activities based on the host country. Other activities include visits to Hawaii’s local government, educational, research and policy institutions and NGOs to promote greater understanding of the importance of Hawaii’s key position in Northeast Asia.
For more information about NEAEF and the Young Leaders Program, visit