The flights are booked, the slogans remastered and the powerpoints just one slide from completion – the APEC is coming!
If you’ve been living under a rock for the last six months, “The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a forum for the 21 Pacific Rim member economies that seeks to promote free trade and economic cooperation throughout the Asia Pacific Region,” according to Wikipedia.
Still having trouble getting excited? Here’s the skinny on why this season’s APEC conference held on November 10 and 11 is slated to be the best one yet for residents of Beijing.
1) Beijing to counter trafficalypse by causing carpocalypse in run-up to APECalypse! From November 3 to 12, the city will restrict the use of private vehicles based on even- and odd-numbered license plates, in an effort to counter pollution and traffic problems in the capital.
2) Do you work in a government employee department, institute or social organization not involved with this season’s APEC? In the generous, free-market spirit of the APEC, Beijing officials have granted you a holiday from November 7- 12.
3) All public schools will also be closed November 7- 12. Just like a snow day!
4) In effort to reduce the disgusting smog that’s been coating the city, factories in Tianjin, Hebei, Shanxi, Shandong provinces and the Inner Mongolia autonomous region will apparently “operate strict pollution control measures” over the next 10 days. All vehicles transporting construction waste and dangerous chemicals will be barred from Beijing’s roads as well. Will the city break out some of its special occasion-iodine rockets to clear the sky? Feel the anticipation in the air.
5) The municipal government plans to increase the number of buses on the road by an extra 400, thus counterbalancing all of the traffic control measures listed above.
6) After six months of priority project work, the boutique hotels, convention centers and “VIP villas” located along Yanqi Lake in Huairou district – the scenic location where the APEC meetings will be held – are complete. Nothing like a trip to the spa after a long day reaching a regional consensus on economic integration.
7) It’s the APEC – do you really need a reason to get excited?