APEC impacting people beyond Bay Area and 21 member economies

Bright lights and a beautiful city skyline in San Francisco showed the city by the bay at its scenic best on Tuesday, as visitors to the APEC Summit gathered for another night of meetings and receptions.

The Bay Area Council opened up its unique headquarters aboard the Historic Klamath boat at Pier 9 along the Embarcadero, to welcome APEC visitors. 

The Bay Area Council is hosting 14 APEC-related events throughout the week, ranging from panel discussions about AI and autonomous vehicles, to a reception for Japan's delegation.

"San Francisco and the Bay Area are the home to several hundred corporate and government innovation offices designed to connect their economies, their companies and their startups to our economy," said Sean Randolph of the Bay Area Council.

Randolph pointed to two big announcements coming during the APEC conference. He says APEC member Singapore announced it is opening a new startup office in the Bay Area. That news comes just a day after Japan also announced it is opening a startup office near Stanford to support startup innovations.

At the Japan night reception on the Klamath, several hundred people gathered to hear from the guest of honor, Yoshitaka Shindo, who is the Japanese Minister in charge of Economic Revitalization and CPTPP, known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. 

Shindo expressed a desire for the United States to reignite support for the trans-Pacific free trade agreements that the U.S. had once supported with Japan and 10 other nations. 

"We always welcome the U.S. to return," said Shindo.

Those conversations about economies and sustainability partnerships are continuing at the top levels through the week, even at the top of Salesforce Tower, where the software company has been hosting events, including one with Japanese diplomats on women and economies, as well as a reception Tuesday night for international press, talking about meetings this week with top CEOs and diplomats to tackle AI, sustainability, and other issues.

"There are themes of sustainability and equality at this APEC summit and those are near and dear to Salesforce's heart. And so it's an opportunity to talk about what that looks like in our global markets with these leaders and with our business partners," said Margaret Taylor, Salesforce director of Public Affairs.

Having the APEC convention in San Francisco is also giving other non-APEC countries and California communities an opportunity to take part in discussions.

"I think the more organizations like APEC and the G7, G8, the more humankind can progress in the proper way," said Sergio Strozzi, Consul General of Italy in San Francisco.  

Tiffany Louk, a business attraction specialist with Fresno, drove all the way from the Central Valley and says it is a great opportunity for the Central Valley to have so many top world leaders and corporate leaders convening in San Francisco.

"Fresno has got a lot to offer. We represent 25% of the nation's food supply. We're 2% of the nation's ag land, and we're trying to recruit ag tech players, so this has been a big opportunity for us," said Louk.

The ministers of the 21 APEC member economies gathered for a dinner at the DeYoung Museum in Golden Gate Park on Tuesday evening. 

More conversations among top leaders will continue on Wednesday. That is also when the APEC CEO Summit is scheduled to begin at 8:15 a.m. at Moscone West.