Almost there! The Furman group in the Seoul airport (l-r) Ke Ji, Brent Nelsen, Kristen Capogrossi, Daniella Fergusson, and Webb McArthur

APEC 2006

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2006
Hanoi, Viet Nam
November 13-19, 2006

Five Furman students—Kristen Capogrossi, Daniella Fergusson, Webb McArthur, Ke Ji, and Cindy Youssef—along with Dr. Brent Nelsen, Professor of Political Science, had the opportunity to participate in the APEC “Voices of the Future” program held November 13-19, 2006 in Hanoi, Socialist Republic of Viet Nam. To view the students’ blog from Vietnam, click here.

During the CEO summit, the Furman contingent attended the addresses given by various heads of state and heads of government, who were representing their nation. The speakers included Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, Chinese President Hu Jintao, New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, and Australian Prime Minister John Howard. According to Webb McArthur, “it was truly an amazing experience to hear all of those voices, too often blurred together in the static of international relations, talking with one voice about free trade, the Asia-Pacific, and the future.”

Additionally, the group attended a special interview with General Giap, a Vietnamese four star general who was the military leader of the Viet Minh guerrilla group under Ho Chi Minh’s government. Cindy Youssef expressed her feelings about this experience, “It was incredible to have the opportunity to see him in person as he is approaching 100 years of age. He spoke with us and even took some of our questions about how he joined the army and made a difference in the life of Viet Nam. Also, he charged us with taking our own leadership roles and making a difference in our communities.” Mrs. Harriet Fulbright was also in attendance with General Giap. Her late husband, former Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, was instrumental in establishing the Fulbright Scholarship program.

The APEC “Voices of the Future” group, comprised of student representatives from the twenty-one APEC member economies, attended the “Doing Business with Vietnam” forum. While this forum allowed Vietnamese business leaders to advertise their country in hopes of increasing trade with the U.S., the European Union and others, foreign investors too were able to network with the Vietnamese as they consider investment in Vietnam’s economy. The forum opened with an address from the Prime Minister of Viet Nam, Nguyen Tan Dung. He expressed his desire for Viet Nam to become truly engaged in the Asian, APEC, and world economies. Representatives from BP, Fluor Daniel, Intel, GE, Federal Express, and Oracle also gave speeches and participated in panel discussions.

Furman students have been the only U.S. college students to attend the APEC “Voices of the Future” program in Mexico (2002), Chile (2004) and Korea (2005). With each successive program, the participating students, educators, Senior Officials, CEOs, ABAC Members and APEC Leaders gain more of an understanding of the APEC vision and are able to take the knowledge back to their respective classrooms and all APEC communities.

Press Coverage

The Greenville NewsThe State, Furman’s news release, click here.

A post-trip story by The Greenville NewsGSA Business penned by Webb McArthur, a Vietnamese source, ITPC (Investment and Trade Promotion Centre, click here.