APEC 2013 logo chosen after much deliberation

Novan Iman Santosa in Jakarta/The Jakarta Post
Asia News Network

Jakarta (The Jakarta Post/ANN) - Indonesia's Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa launched yesterday the logo for Indonesia's APEC chairmanship, which characterises the region's resilience in an era of prolonged global uncertainty as well as its oceanic features.

"It depicts bamboo shoots bending to the force of the wind while remaining firmly rooted and intact," Marty told delegates at the opening ceremony of the APEC informal senior officials' meeting at the Foreign Ministry.

"Hence, it symbolises the resilience of APEC economies and the firmness of our commitment to serve as a force for sustainable global prosperity with equity."

Marty told the delegates that there were three issues relevant to the theme of "Resilient Asia-Pacific, Engine of Global Growth". The issues are achieving the 1994 Bogor Goals; inclusive economic growth which includes equity and social justice; and improved connectivity in the Asia-Pacific region.

The logo consists of 21 bamboo shoots sweeping upward on a blue background.

The bamboo shoots represented the 21 APEC economies while the upward sweep visualised the need to develop global economic growth, the ministry said in a statement. Bamboo was picked to symbolise resilience, strength and flexibility.

"The logo was selected through an open competition involving thousands of contestants," Marty told the delegates. He also confirmed that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was actively involved in selecting the logo from hundreds of entries from across the country.

"The selection panel consisted not only of Foreign Ministry officials but also design professionals," he told The Jakarta Post after the ceremony. "We picked a shortlist of 10 finalists from 20 nominees and submitted them to the President."

Marty said Yudhoyono also requested additional entries that were not nominated by the selection panel for further assessment of aspects such as colours and fonts. "The President gave his direct attention to picking the logo," he said.

Marty dismissed claims that the blue background was chosen to represent Yudhoyono's Democratic Party. "Actually, the blue represents the calmness of the Pacific Ocean because the largest component of the APEC region is the ocean. Claims otherwise are the product of an over-fertile imagination," he said.

Earlier on Thursday, sources with knowledge of the selection process said that there were some 1,500 designs received by the selection panel. The entries were whittled down to 100 and then 60 designs. Members of the panel then picked 10 designs with a score of 1-10. They shortlisted five out of the 10 and submitted them to Yudhoyono.

However, the President was not satisfied with the five designs and asked to see other entries which had not made the cut. About 60 to 100 designs were then submitted to him. In the end, he chose the logo. "This was not one of the logos recommended by the panel," a source said referring to the chosen logo.

When asked whether the selection panel was satisfied with the President's pick, the source diplomatically said that the final decision was not in the panel's hands.

A separate source said that it was not unusual for heads of state to intervene in choosing such logos.

Linda Yulisman and Yohanna Ririhena contributed to this report.