In mid-October the Thai kingdom will host the APEC 2003 meeting. Half-baked from the very start, it is surprising that APEC has lived to see the 21st century. The stated objective of APEC is to promote “open regionalism” in the Asia Pacific region through free trade and investment for “developed member economies” by 2010 and for “developing economies” by 2020. In the late 1990s, APEC slipped into a virtual coma with the financial crisis destroying the model economies of the Asian tigers and throwing millions of lives into dire straits. Journalists quickly labeled the forum “Ageing Politicians Exchanging Cocktails” or “A Perfect Excuse to Chat”. And rightly so, because APEC’s annual summit meetings are often conducted with much fanfare, transforming them into fantastic spectacles.

Vol.19-No.3-Sept.-Dec.-2546-2003_compressed