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San Francisco to host APEC summit in 2023, drawing major heads of state

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris (center) arrives to attend the 29th APEC Economic Leaders Meeting (AELM) during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Bangkok on Nov. 18, 2022. (Photo by Diego Azubel / POOL / AFP) (Photo by DIEGO AZUBEL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) | Source: Photo by DIEGO AZUBEL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Next November, San Francisco will play host to major heads of state and other international officials at the 30th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Summit, known as APEC.

APEC is an intergovernmental forum promoting free trade in the Asia-Pacific region, and San Francisco was announced as the 2023 host city at this year’s summit in Bangkok, Thailand.

“San Francisco has long been recognized as a gateway to the Asia-Pacific—and thanks to President Biden and Vice President Harris, we are proud to host the Leaders’ Meeting of the 2023 APEC Summit,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a statement.

In an Aug. 12 letter to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Mayor London Breed pitched San Francisco as the “perfect candidate” to host the gathering given its large Asian American population and status as a destination for direct investment from Asia.

Participating countries at next year’s APEC include the United States, Canada, China, the Philippines, Japan, Singapore and Thailand.

Northern California firms sell an estimated $60 billion dollars of goods and services to APEC buyers. The city is also home to more than 75 consulates along with many other trade commissions.

Breed said the city is ready to accommodate a summit that will bring major heads of state and other luminaries, noting its 34,000 hotel rooms and experience in hosting events with heightened security needs, such as the 2016 Super Bowl.

The APEC summit will bring in President Joe Biden and other major heads of state to the city. Vice President Kamala Harris is attending this year’s APEC conference, currently underway in Bangkok.

Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO of the San Francisco Travel Association, called the APEC summit “a big win” for the city.

“APEC will bring global attention to the city, as well as thousands of international visitors that will help support our economic recovery and the hundreds of small businesses that depend on visitor dollars,” he said.

Next year’s APEC conference will kick off in November 2023.