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PacNet #43 – The 1998 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Meeting: Opportunity for Relevance?

At last year’s APEC Leaders Meeting in Vancouver, many shuddered at President Bill Clinton’s soundbite that the Asian financial crisis was only a “glitch in the road.” His statement may have been calculated to soothe the markets (it didn’t work); it didn’t reveal the serious concern expressed behind closed doors on the worrisome events underfoot. Nonetheless, it sent the message that the region’s most important economic organization was incapable of responding to a crisis that was befalling its own members. At this year’s APEC Leaders Meeting, being held in Kuala Lumpur on November 17-18, APEC is challenged to adopt a vigorous set of timely and concrete actions to address the crisis.