Dodwell in CTI Meetings at Singapore - Post 4

April 02, 2012

Sunday promised to be another richly instructive day: a morning focused on supply chain connectivity, and in the afternoon a key “Friends of the Chair” discussion on compilation of an APEC list of Environmental Goods and Services. Instead, it proved frustrating and unproductive. First, the hugely technical supply chain connectivity discussion swept high over my head. The meeting was undoubtedly valuable and productive for those technocrats working on how, in practical terms, to squeeze 10% of costs out of the region’s supply chains. But to a lay business person, it was as tedious and tortuous as it was worthy and necessary. Some meetings we can safely miss and leave to our officials.

The disappointment with the Environmental Goods and Services list – aimed at agreeing a list of products on which tariffs will be cut below 5% - was of a different kind. In short, ABAC is not automatically a “Friend of the Chair” – so we were simply excluded from an undoubtedly important and contentious discussion. To diffuse the frustration, I returned to the hotel, took a jog through the torrid Singapore heat, and had dinner with friends: a much more relaxed day than I had expected, but it would have been nice not to put on a suit and travel through the empty city to the meeting venue.

The modernistic mall areas of the Sands Expo and Convention Centre: busier today than over the very quiet weekend

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