metropolitan areas and their extended regions - issues which affect economic growth, the quality of life and the ability go compete globally."xiii The emphasis placed on trade and technology transfer indicates the central role that must be given to the private sector in contemporary Atlantic Rim relationships. The list of participants included many representatives of chambers of commerce, firms, and private-public sector business and economic development councils, as did the list of sponsors. The focus on "metropolitan areas" has been broadened to include other sub-national governments, such as states and provinces, and regional and trans-border entities.
The primary result of the first Atlantic Rim congress was establishment of the Atlantic Rim Network (ARN). The Network is largely the product of the efforts of James Barron, international attorney, who serves as ARN Chairman and Managing Director, and is based at the World
Trade Center in Boston. At the second congress, in Halifax (1995), it was decided that the work of ARN would best be accomplished through establishment of several Working Groups, with telemedicine, transportation, tourism, trade and education being given the highest priorities, but with others to follow as interest warrants. Subsequent to this decision initiatives consisting of conferences, information sharing, joint problem solving and networking have been developed on:
Transatlantic telemedicine - Two International Atlantic Rim Telemedicine Conferences (Boston, 1987 and Strasbourg or Brussels, 1999).
Ocean transportation - Research on "Improving Transatlantic Logistical Chains," and "Developing Multi-modal Transportation Centers."
Port cities development - A conference on "Modern Trends in Regional Port Development" (Norfolk), and research on "Developing Transatlantic Call Centers."
Tourism - Research and conferences on "International Visitor Friendly cities" and "Urban Tourism."
News media - A symposium on "Making International News Local and Local News International."
Encouragement of participation by Latin America and Africa - Establishment of a Working Group to make contacts and to disseminate information.
This is only a partial listing of ARN initiatives, but it will serve to indicate the nature and breadth of work being done. The most recent development is establishment of the Atlantic Rim Institute, an entity designed to coordinate the activities of the ARN, which will: 1) be responsible for prioritizing, funding, organizing and administering the recommended activities, and 2) encourage the involvement of teachers and researchers in development of the educational and academic activities focusing on the Atlantic Rim.
James Barron has said: "The Atlantic Rim begins as a body of water surrounded by a state of mind. Our challenge is to cultivate the instinct for transatlantic cooperation and transform an Atlantic Rim vision into a program of practical benefits." ARN is just four years old, but it is evident that considerable progress has been made toward realization of the potential of that vision.