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29 Nov, 2022

What do APEC summits really achieve?

Enormous amounts of time, effort and money go into hosting summits such as the APEC 2022. They always end with rah-rah statements hailing their success. But are they really a “success”? How does one define, evaluate and rate “success”? Is there room for an objective debate?

One way of analysing the outcomes is to rewind the clock and take a historical perspective. Thailand last hosted an APEC summit in 2003. That saw even more pomp and pageantry than the 2022 summit. If the 2003 Summit is used as a benchmark, it provides a clear checklist against which to rate the outcomes, successes and failures of not just the Nov 2022 summit, but all summits held in between.

As Thailand’s leading travel & tourism historian, I delved into my unmatched archives to do just that.

Here are my takeaways and thoughts..(Readers may have to download the images and see them in full-screen mode)….