Celebrating Global Economic Statecraft Day

On June 14, our embassies and consulates throughout the world, and many of us across the government here in Washington, celebrated Global Economic Statecraft Day (GESD) to recognize all the ways we are putting economics at the forefront of our foreign policy. And this recognition came all the way from the top: Secretary Clinton used her keynote speech at the African Growth and Opportunity Act Forum to mark GESD, and President Obama released a video message dedicated to the day's commemoration.

Above all, GESD was an opportunity to honor the dynamism and creativity of the ambassadors, economic officers, commercial officers, locally engaged staff, and their colleagues at all of our posts around the globe in the work that they do every day in support of America's economic renewal. American embassies and consulates on every continent and in every corner of the world hosted over 250 events in 130 countries that support American jobs, sending the unequivocal message that America is open for business. With that prospective, strategic focus, Embassy Tegucigalpa used June 14 to unveil its Jobs Diplomacy and Anti-Corruption Strategies, while also discussing plans for its pilot Domestic Finance for Development (DF4D) program with the Tegucigalpa Chamber of Commerce.

GESD programs around the globe also focused on securing the global economic future, bringing businesses, governments, and civil societies together to find new ways of tackling our shared economic challenges.

A prime example of this partnership in action occurred in Yerevan, Armenia, where our embassy and the Armenian government hosted a joint conference, with over 100 participants -- mostly from small- and medium-sized businesses. The conference examined current business practices that restrict competition and create "bottlenecks" that distort the market. Participants went on to propose collaborative solutions to these challenges, including a renewed focus on international best practices in countering collusion, abuse of dominant market position, and restricted market access. The Ambassador recorded a video message to kick off the event.

Entrepreneurship was the theme for many of our posts in their GESD activities. The U.S. Consulate General Jerusalem, in coordination with Partners for a New Beginning (PNB) and Coca-Cola, hosted an event to highlight the importance of public-private partnerships, youth engagement, and entrepreneurship in economic development. The reception honored the 13 Palestinian university students who will depart soon to participate in the Global Business Institute at the University of Indiana's Kelley School of Business. This is the first program of its kind to leverage a public-private partnership to enable Palestinians to participate in an exchange program in the United States. In Jakarta, the Deputy Chief of Mission offered U.S. support to the Indonesian Young Entrepreneur's Association, and helped them prepare their delegation's July trip to California.

Women entrepreneurs were at the center of events for embassies Kabul, Nairobi, and Dhaka. In Afghanistan, the Nangarhar Women's Commerce Center hosted a fashion show and handicrafts exhibition attended by government representatives, female parliamentarians, and the public. This event was not only an opportunity to promote local entrepreneurs, but also demonstrated the role Afghan women can play in building a stronger economy. Members of Kenya's Federation of Women Entrepreneur Associations participated in an event at Embassy Nairobi. Held for AGOA Awareness Day, the exhibition featured a spectrum of Kenyan firms who export or are "export-ready." In Dhaka, Bangladeshi and American women entrepreneurs participated in a Youth Exchange, where they discussed the challenges and opportunities for local women entrepreneurs, as well as new opportunities for partnership and global business networks using technology and the Internet.

In Kazakhstan, our embassy hosted the Tech Forum Central Asia (TFCA). This two-day event, with 120 participants from all five Central Asian countries plus Afghanistan and Pakistan, enabled youth activists and entrepreneurs to receive hands-on interactive training from leading American and local technology companies. The event, part of State's "Tech Camps" series, demonstrated how technology augments economic development and promotes corporate social responsibility. In support of the SelectUSA effort, Embassy Stockholm's commercial and economic sections created a prototype SelectUSA foreign direct investment (FDI) map showing the locations of Swedish investment in the United States to encourage more FDI. Consulate General Sao Paulo invited representatives from the science, industry, and technology sectors for a roundtable discussion. The discussion centered on investment in innovation, science and technology, and Brazil's Science without Borders education exchange initiative.

Another major theme was promoting U.S. exports in support of the National Export Initiative. Taking advantage of the recent entry into force of the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement, Embassy Bogotá promoted U.S. exports and tourism with the five biggest Colombian-American Chambers of Commerce. Also promoting U.S. exports and business opportunities for American firms was Ambassador Shannon, who hosted Brazil's first Direct Line web chat. He shared his insights with U.S. companies, academia, and non-governmental organizations on Brazil's economic outlook and investment climate, this event was a perfect example of how we are deepening cooperation between our private sector and our embassies and improving U.S. competitiveness in overseas markets. In Jakarta, Ambassador Marciel held a Direct Line to American Business call on June 13 before leading a delegation of Ambassadors to meet with the Indonesian Minister of Trade.

Although GESD was only one day, Economic Statecraft itself represents the State Department's ongoing responsibility to recognize and respond to the economic dynamics shaping our current and future foreign policy challenges.



Maryland, USA
June 18, 2012

Patrick in Maryland writes:

It sounds like a good initiative for economic progress and better relationships with other coutries.

California, USA
June 18, 2012

Debora in California writes:

Though it lasts just a day, GESD is an event with great significance for clarifying all the trends that shape our economic and foreign policy course. I hope that there would be more similar events in the future.

Virginia, USA
June 18, 2012

Norine in Virginia writes:

I love events that allow the State Department to highlight all the positive things that the United States does around the world.

June 19, 2012

Mr. D. writes:

Fine program but with such state craft built on flawed economics – whatever you build will fall. The current system we use is the same tired old mechanics that the gold system used. The “minds” that gave us what we use today -mechanically copied the gold system;not very innovative -just one of many missed opportunities;. The gold backed system was a failure -what we use today is mechanically the same, before that, again mechanically the same – the only difference is in the details of the construct– today its just as much a failure. Until this issue is tackled the only way forward is down. You can build the biggest, tallest most advanced structure but when it is supported by quicksand – its meaningless. Its long overdue to develop solid bedrock to build a future on – or all the greatest ideas will produce very little.

Our financial machine, at its core operates by costing 2 or 3 dollars somewhere, somehow, at some point in time; for every dollar it produces – this is a recipe for disaster for “everyone” -top to bottom. Some groups believe tackling debt is the way forward. From a pure business sense – this makes no sense – every dollar spent on debt is a dollar lost for business and innovation. However creating more debt is just as deadly for business – your done for, no matter which way you turn. Sure you can think “if” and “only” and everything will work – this is the mindsets of the people that dont understand the “machine”.

The trouble with modern education is that it teaches you what to think – not how to think – in economics, many students are taught to compartmentalize the “machine”(micro economics). The big picture and its simplicity are lost(it is simple) – so too the inherent obvious flaws.

Our economic system was designed by people – its function predictable – not magic. How many companies design something, then act surprised about what they built? Don't accept the economic nonsense – it was designed, it is predictable, it is simple at its core. If anyone in the world acts surprised by the financial “machine” and what it does -they dont know how it works. If you dont know how it works – you have no business making any decision regarding money – your just more likely to be conned. Making money in business is one thing – understanding money as a construct -is a completely different ballgame. I bet if we took 10000 people with PHDs and they all came out telling the world that the earth was flat -most would believe it, the “expert” knows best -despite knowing better. Any economist that trumpets the benefits of the financial construct we use today commits a disservice to their families, business, countries and to life. And for the record I dont champion a communist model either.(for those that would perceive such a notion)

New Mexico, USA
June 19, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

(BBC News item)
The UK has made moves to stop a cargo vessel allegedly carrying refurbished Russian-made attack helicopters from completing its journey to Syria.

The MV Alaed had its insurance withdrawn by The Standard Club in London while it was about 50 miles (80.4km) off Scotland's north coast.

The insurer said it had sought more information on the boat's cargo.

Withdrawal of insurance prevents the MV Alaed from sailing until its owner can secure new cover.

It is thought that the vessel has stopped off the Western Isles.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said it was unclear where the vessel would now go.

The Russian embassy in London has not yet commented.

The UK and US have raised concerns with Russia about shipments of weapons to Syria, which is subject to a European Union arms embargo.

In a statement, the FCO said: "We are aware of a ship carrying a consignment of refurbished Russian-made attack helicopters heading to Syria.

"The foreign secretary made clear to Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov when they met on 14 June that all defence shipments to Syria must stop.

"We are working closely with international partners to ensure that we are doing all we can to stop the Syrian regime's ability to slaughter civilians being reinforced through assistance from other countries."

The Standard Club said it believed the MV Alaed had stopped off the coast of the Western Isles.

In a statement, it said: "We were informed on Friday evening that the ship might be carrying weapons, in particular attack helicopters, missiles and non-specific munitions, and we are making inquiries to establish what their side of the story is.

"There are exclusion clauses in our cover and, for anyone involved in improper or unlawful trade, we can cancel cover.

"We are investigating whether or not to do so in this case."

It would seem that we arn't the only folks practicing "economic Statecraft" , and you know we live in a truly bizzare economic reality when insurance carriers are stopping arms shipments to tyrants by removing their coverage on suspect ship and cargo.

Well my opinion of insurance companies in general has risen a notch or two, and I think a little recongnition is in order for the private sector's most elegant "targeted sanction" of the week!

Bravo!, well done to all concerned and involved in stopping that ship "dead in the water"!


California, USA
December 20, 2012

Sergey in California writes:

American embassies and consulates on every continent and in every corner of the world hosted over 250 events in 130 countries that support American jobs, sending the unequivocal message that America is open for business. GESD programs also focused to find new ways of tackling our shared economic challenges.

June 17, 2012


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