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Remarks at Millennium Challenge Corporation Signing Ceremony

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Grand Hyatt
Bali, Indonesia
November 19, 2011

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Daniel, and thanks for all of your work directing the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and to all who worked with you in order to achieve this very impressive compact.

The MCC embodies the United States’ commitment to work in partnership with nations around the world to support economic growth and deliver results that make a difference in people’s lives. So it is an honor to join the finance minister and so many other distinguished ministers, representatives of the Indonesian Government, ambassadors, and friends of — in the Indonesia-United States comprehensive partnership. This signing will further deepen the relationship between us. And I am very committed to doing all that we can to make sure that this compact represents the very best of that partnership.

As you know, the MCC and the Government of Indonesia have worked for almost three years to develop this $600 million compact, one of our largest ever, to reduce poverty and promote economic growth hand-in-hand with the Indonesian Government and people. This is truly a milestone for us all.

The size and scope of this compact over the next five years makes it an essential part of the U.S.-Indonesia comprehensive partnership that our presidents launched one year ago. The three projects in this compact reflect our shared values, and Indonesia’s priorities. And each support the economic and development pillar of our comprehensive partnership.

First, green development and efforts to mitigate climate change have long been rich areas of cooperation between our countries. We both understand that unsustainable land use practices threaten natural resources. Illegal logging, polluting of water resources undercuts Indonesia’s long-term economic growth, as does a lack of access to affordable, reliable electricity. So we want to work together to find ways to foster low carbon development in local communities. And I mentioned to the ambassador to the United States that I was so impressed by President Yudhoyono’s composition lauding the efforts on behalf of climate change and cooperative commitment to preserving the great beauty of Indonesia at the gala dinner last evening.

Under this compact, over half of the 600 million is devoted to the Green Prosperity Project. This will help provide viable renewable energy alternatives, and help support natural resource management. While we see this as an end in itself, we are particularly excited, because we think that rural people will be able to raise their incomes while reducing their reliance on fossil fuels and on logging. And it will complement Indonesia’s efforts to meet its international commitment of reducing projected greenhouse gas omissions 26 to 41 percent by 2020.

I am also pleased that Indonesia will have the first-ever MCC compact with a focus on early life nutrition. Ensuring adequate nutrition during the 1,000-day window from a woman’s pregnancy to a child’s second birthday is the single most effective investment we can make in a child’s physical and cognitive development. The scientific research is overwhelmingly clear: If you want a healthier, better educated workforce, it starts in those very early months of life. And ultimately, an early focus on nutrition can reduce poverty, promote broader prosperity, and improve the security and stability of communities and nations.

Indonesia is already making critical investments in this area, and we welcome Indonesia’s strong interest in joining the UN-sponsored SUN, Scaling Up Nutrition, movement. The Scaling Up Nutrition movement, called SUN, helps countries target under nutrition more effectively, and reach more people by coordinating investments, resources, and programs.

The Community-Based Nutrition to Prevent Stunting Project that we will be working on under the compact recognizes the importance of this investment, and that it pays dividends for generations. This project is expected to help as many as 2.9 million children and their families in 7,000 villages where the rates of childhood under-nutrition and stunting are especially high. We are very eager, not only to partner with Indonesia, but to learn from Indonesia’s progress, and together to help carry these lessons on to mothers and children all over the world.

The third leg of this compact reflects Indonesia’s commitment to being a leader in open and transparent government. The Procurement Modernization Project will support two of Indonesia’s presidential regulations to reform and improve the government’s system for making purchases on behalf of the people, everything from office supplies to maintenance contracts. We thinking, working with our Indonesian partners, that this proposal has the potential to save as much as $15 billion annually for the government and people of Indonesia, and it will help develop the Indonesian Government’s human resources by supporting career paths for civil servants who have the authority and incentive to do their jobs well.

And Indonesia, as one of the co-founders of the Open Government Partnership and a member of its steering committee, is positioned to really help demonstrate modernizing government practices to countries not only throughout the region but far beyond. Open government practices save money, reduce corruption, improve efficiency and accountability, and produce results for citizens. And we think Indonesia will help shape the international community’s thinking on procurement reform.

So, each of these projects represents a significant step forward in our partnership, and we are so excited about this Millennium Challenge Corporation’s compact. I look forward to signing it in just a few minutes with my counterpart, Minister Martowardojo, and I invite him now to please take the podium to share his thoughts. Thank you. (Applause.)

“I look forward to signing it in just a few minutes with my counterpart, Minister Martowardojo….”

Before she made her “21st Century Economic Statecraft” speech in New York last month, knowing  the main points, I called her “Secretary of Everything.” The Minister of Finance is her counterpart?  LOL!  HRC is Mother Nature!    She abhors a vacuum and rapidly fills it!  You have GOT to love her!   She has never met a vacuum she didn’t fill.

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Secretary Clinton and Indonesian Finance Minister Agus Martowardojo signed a five-year, US$600 million Millennium Challenge Corporation agreement on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit on Saturday.  We see her with Sergei Lavrov as well, and, of course, with President Obama.

Just a few personal comments.  Not to be shallow or anything, but she has always rocked this oatmeal-colored linen pantsuit, so I am glad to see it return.   Some of these pictures are reminiscent of of Eva Peron and remind me how lucky we are to have HRC.  Poor Argentina.  They lost Evita way too young.  Finally,  it is difficult to miss how this entire week at ASEAN has had the appearance of an introduction, or coming-out party for President Obama.   He has,  for years,  depended entirely on HRC doing all the legwork.  These are people she knows very well and communicates with regularly.  He appears to be what he is … the new kid on the block.  It is as if she is bringing her little brother to his first day of school.  What does that mean?  Perhaps that she is in stage one of leaving DOS.  No matter who replaces her, no one will do the job she has for him.  IF he is reelected he will have to assume much of the diplomatic work that she has been doing.  No one has her rock-star sparkle that simply wins over both officials and the civil sector the world over.  That is my two cents, for what it is worth.

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It appears to be customary at ASEAN Summits for participants to dress in traditional local attire for the gala dinners.  Hillary Clinton wears these styles particularly well.

You may remember this lovely jacket from the July2009 gathering in Phuket, Thailand.  She looked simply stunning!

On October 29, 2010 she flew in from Guam for the opening dinner in Hanoi a gorgeous golden girl.

Just when you thought it could not possibly get any better, she showed up at this evening’s gala looking simply radiant in this red print.


Mrs. Natalegawa does not seem to mind that Marty enjoys his bilaterals with her.

Things have been very serious around here for the past few days,  so a Keatsian celebration of how pretty she is seems a good way to begin the weekend.  How appropriate that the person who announced The New Silk Road wears silk so well!

Safe home, Mme. Secretary, and,  if you stop in Guam to refuel, give Derick a hug and kiss.  He will be thrilled!

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Remarks at ASEAN Business and Investment Summit

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Bali International Convention Center
Bali, Indonesia
November 18, 2011

Thank you so much, and I am so excited about being back here today, and I want to recognize all of the distinguished guests. I know Minister Gita Wirjawan was here, and I know he had to go to a meeting at the – has already left with some distinguished officials. But to all of you public and private sector representatives, organizations, executives from within ASEAN and beyond, it is a great honor for me to be representing the United States.We had a whirlwind tour through the Asia Pacific region. As you might know, President Obama and I were together at the APEC leaders meeting in Honolulu. Then, of course, President Obama went to Australia, I went to the Philippines and Thailand, and now here we are in beautiful Bali. And I am excited that – (applause) – President Obama will be the first American President ever to attend the East Asia Summit, and that is a big tribute to you. (Applause.)

Now we, I think, each recognize that economic policy is foreign policy, and foreign policy is economic policy. And by strengthening the diplomacy and presence abroad, we can strengthen our economies back home, and actually, vice versa. And the United States recognizes that, so we are making a pivot, a pivot toward the Asia Pacific region, where we intend to be a diplomatic, economic, and strategic force for the 21st century.

And it is especially important that we work toward the integration of the Asia-Pacific region, because the potential here matters more than ever, first and foremost to the people who live here, but indeed to those living across the globe. This region has the world’s fastest rising economies, with GDP growth at an average of better than 6.5 percent a year despite the global slowdown. And with natural resources, untapped markets, a massive consumer base, and unlimited human potential, we expect that to continue to grow.

But we still have more work to do between the United States and ASEAN countries. Trade between the United States and Southeast Asia has tripled over the past 20 years, but it is still just 6 percent of our global trade. And even though American Synergistic Investments in ASEAN countries more than doubled last year, we know we can do better.

How do we grow together to maximize broad, inclusive, sustainable growth that provides real benefits for all of our people? Well, we have to start by insisting on economic competition that is open, free, transparent, and fair. That means taking on rules that prevent foreign investors from competing with local businesses to produce better goods and services. It means lowering trade barriers that stop the flow of ideas, information, products, and capital across borders. It means letting outside investors compete under the same rules as the inside players. And it makes it absolutely imperative that everyone knows what the rules are. When any of these principles are ignored, when people no longer believe they can trade, invest, create jobs, or improve their lives on an even playing field, then the absence of fairness undermines economic growth.

Now let me describe briefly four ways that we want to work with you: first, by lowering trade barriers; second, by strengthening the investment climate; third, by pursuing commercial diplomacy; and fourth, by supporting entrepreneurs. We’re excited about the innovative trade agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP. That would bring economies from across the Pacific, developed and developing alike, into a single trading community, not only to create more growth, but better growth. Not just to lower tariffs, but raise standards on the environment, protections for workers, intellectual property, and innovation. We want to create a cutting-edge trading community that promotes the free flow of information technology and the spread of green technology that helps us harmonize our regulations and build more efficient supply chains together.

We are also working to ensure that the TPP is the first trade pact designed specifically to reduce barriers for small and medium-sized enterprises, and that all companies are treated fairly, regardless of their size, or whether their owners sit in boardrooms or government ministries.

But lowering barriers is not enough, and that’s why we share ASEAN’s vision for strengthening the roads, rails, ports, power stations, and other infrastructure required for the efficient flow of goods and services. When it – this was, I have to say, very surprising to me, just one of many examples that I was given, but this one I chose because we’re in Indonesia – when it is cheaper and easier for an Indonesian shipping company to send its cargo almost a thousand miles away to Singapore than to one of its own islands which has inadequate ports and facilities, that is a breakdown of connectivity. So we are very pleased that the Government of Indonesia has unveiled its plan to improve transportation links among its 17,000 islands, and to other points around the region. And we encourage other ASEAN nations. Through the U.S.-ASEAN connectivity cooperation initiative, we are supporting project designs to build infrastructure that can support economies and create jobs.

The second element is investment. Improvements in Indonesia’s investment climate have encouraged American companies like Caterpillar to build new plants here. We think that is a benefit for both sides. Indonesian entrepreneurs who participated in the regional entrepreneurship summit that I addressed last July recently went to Silicon Valley to talk with their counterparts about venture capital. And companies in ASEAN continue to look for new opportunities in the U.S. as they become more global in their operations.

Third is commercial diplomacy. We have to advocate for businesses, and make sure that they do compete on a level playing field. It is somewhat strange that when a young hawker of goods on the streets of Manila can sell a bootleg copy of a major Hollywood movie on the very day of its release, then we have to stand up for intellectual property.

And when governments impose unfair terms on our companies just to enter or expand into a new market, we need to push back. For example, a remanufacturing plant that American Caterpillar recently opened in Singapore would not have gone forward without a year of negotiations and support from our Embassy officers there.

And we were very pleased that the kind of advocacy to make sure that people are getting a fair shake recently led to some positive outcomes for American companies. For example, Boeing finalized the sale of aircraft worth more than $3 billion to Thai Airways. And just this week, we have these developments: Boeing and Lion Air, here in Indonesia, have agreed on a $21.7 billion deal for a supply of 240 new model 737 aircraft. GE Aviation is signing a $1.3 billion contract with Garuda Airlines for the supply and maintenance of new aircraft engines. And GE and Indonesian rail company PT Kereta Api has just announced an agreement to supply 100 trains to Java. Now that’s win-win for both sides. And we also are looking not just out for our big companies, but also our small and medium-sized ones as well.

Fourth, we must support entrepreneurship. That’s in America’s DNA. It’s part of what defines us. And we are very excited about entrepreneurship emphasis in the Obama Administration. And certainly as we look across the Asia Pacific, there are so many young people who are so tech-savvy, they have the potential to become one of the biggest drivers of prosperity in the world.

But too often we don’t see entrepreneurs and small businesses getting the same kind of help that they need. We have to be very careful about that in our own country. That’s why we created something called the Small Business Administration, because we know that large companies very often will get the door open and get through it before small companies even know there is a contract to be had. And we think governments need to be very self-conscious about not giving so many preferences to large companies.

So that’s one of the reasons we established the Global Entrepreneurship Program, another initiative called Partnerships for a New Beginning, because we want to advocate not only for our own small businesses, but for small businesses elsewhere, because after all, small businesses provide employment for far more people than all the big businesses in the world combined. So we, as governments, have to pay more attention to small businesses and entrepreneurs. So there is a lot of work ahead of us. The Global Partnership Initiative, which works to connect governments and the private sector, is another way that we’re trying to break through red tape and bureaucracy and just get connected, people to people.

You can tell from my remarks we are very excited about the future of this region, and also the future of the partnership between the United States and ASEAN. I was privileged, in my very first month of office, to go to Indonesia, to go to Jakarta, to go to ASEAN headquarters, and to sign the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation, because I knew how important it was for the United States to be all in, totally committed to ASEAN. This is a network, an organization of countries that we have good relations with on many levels, but we know there is so much more to be done.

So let’s use our resources, our networks, and renew our commitment to the kind of growth that will really benefit the vast majority of people. I’m sure you have followed in the news a lot of what’s going on in our country on the 99 percent versus the 1 percent. Well, I think that is a feeling much more broadly felt than just in the United States. I think people – especially young people – they are impatient, they are demanding, and they are totally connected up. They know what is happening. I couldn’t say that about my generation, or generations before, because we didn’t have the internet. We didn’t know, living in Jakarta, what was going on in New York, or, living in LA, what was going on in Bangkok or Manila or anywhere else.

So it is time for those of us in positions of responsibility, in both the public and the private sector, to realize that it’s not only smart economics to create broad-based prosperity that includes everyone, men and women, big companies, medium-sized and small, older and younger, everyone – break down the barriers, open the doors, and watch what happens. And I don’t think any region in the world will be more benefited than right here in the countries that comprise ASEAN.

Thank you very much. (Applause.)

Just a comment from yours truly: I have posted on this blog dozens, perhaps more than a hundred (I do not have the time to fact-check this) speeches like this that Mme. Secretary has made over nearly three years as SOS.  She has spoken all over the world on this topic to governments, civil groups, associations, both foreign and domestic, and NGOs.  So I hope no one minds if I take exception to President Obama’s comment that we have been “lazy” over the last  couple of decades  in advertising our American brand internationally. Perhaps he has been too busy to notice the diligence with which his top diplomat has been doing exactly what he said we have not.

I could be wrong (feel free to correct me if I am) , but until this year, I do not think Mr. Obama has attended ASEAN.  For the past two years it has been the SOS who has led the delegation.   His remark was neither made nor meant in the context that Rick Perry and Mitt Romney have placed it.  In the actual context, however, it remains an unfortunate comment. Some Americans actually do know what his Libya policy was and is. We know how and when it was formed. We also know a few things about what his Secretary of State has been doing since January 2009 as he appears not to.  Does anybody on his staff  brief him on what his cabinet is doing?  Does no one care?   What on earth will he do when she is no longer there working this hard? I cannot help but wonder.

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Meeting with Staff and Families of Mission Indonesia and Mission ASEAN

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Bali, Indonesia
July 24, 2011

AMBASSADOR MARCIEL: Okay, we have a joint venture partnership here, of David Carden and I, who will do the easiest job in the world, which is introducing the Secretary of State of the United States of America, Hillary Clinton.

It is wonderful to have you here. Thanks for spending so much time. This is, of course, part of the team, but a big part of the team. They all have been working very hard, very grateful for your time, and all looking forward to getting back to Jakarta tonight, so we can continue all the great work of partnership.

David?

AMBASSADOR CARDEN: Thank you. It is a challenging, introducing somebody who needs no introduction, but it seems only right that I should do it, because I wouldn’t be here without her.

I simply want to say that I have not been in this whole-of-government family very long, but I have been here long enough to know that the job that we do out here is made an awful lot easier by this woman. The leadership and the vision that she brings to this job may not be unprecedented, but it is hard for me to believe that that’s not the case. So it is my pleasure to introduce the United States Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much. (Applause.) Oh, my goodness. Well, this has been an extraordinary couple of days here in Bali. And I have a new rule. Every international conference should be in Bali. (Laughter.) And the President is looking forward to coming back soon. You are going to get rid of me, and then immediately have to turn around and get ready for him. So I hope you have a few days of respite.

But I wanted to thank each and every one of you. Certainly our bilateral mission and our ASEAN mission — I just am so grateful and impressed by the work that you have done. And I think that we can agree that both of our ambassadors are doing a first-rate job. I want to thank both Scot and David. Their leadership and their passion is evident in the work that they and you do together. They are a real dynamic duo. Their partnership is a model for what we hope to achieve in a whole-of-government approach, not only in Jakarta, but around the world.

Let me just say a few words about David and the ASEAN team. (Laughter.) The ministerial meetings were terrific. Everybody, with the preparation that you put into it, I want to thank you, because it certainly paid off. It makes a big difference to have a dedicated team to ASEAN.

And, as some of you know, I was determined to do that from the very first time I visited back in 2009, when we said we would sign the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation. I came back, told the White House, “We are going to sign the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation.” They said, “The what?” (Laughter.) I said, “You know, it’s a friendly, cooperative” — but it has worked out very well, because we do believe that we have deepened and broadened our relationship.

I know that, for those of you working on the ASEAN mission, it has felt like a start-up, because it is a start-up. We are the first country to have named an ambassador. And you didn’t have a lot of resources, you didn’t have a lot of space, and you certainly didn’t have a lot of sleep. So it is triply impressive, what you have accomplished in such a short period of time.

And then I want to thank and recognize Scot, who I have the privilege of working with before he was confirmed to be our Ambassador. And Scot was an absolutely essential member of my team before he came out to Jakarta. And his help in organizing the comprehensive partnership joint commission meetings is so appreciated. We heard great reports this morning. And I just want to thank you, thank you, Scot, for all you are doing to strengthen our relationship.

And I know education has been a major priority. Because after 9/11, student visa applications fell way off. But through EducationUSA you have helped to change that. And last year alone, student visa applications for the U.S. increased 20 percent. And 95 percent of those applications were approved.

On the scientific front, you have been very active, and it is clearly paying off: @america, the interactive, high-tech outreach space that was recently completed — in the mall, right — something that former Under Secretary Judith McHale was so enthusiastic about, she must have reported to me about it 100 times, because it’s where the people are. We closed down American centers all over the world for security reasons, and made it also difficult for people to come to the embassy or some other location. So now we are going to where people are.

And I also know the climate change discussion you convened earlier this year had great success, bringing together scientists, business leaders in green technologies, NGO reps, government officials, and even former vice president Al Gore. But that is kind of above and beyond the day-to-day work that you do every single day.

I know that you are assisting the 50,000 Americans who visit Bali every year. You have engaged with youth groups and are educating them about scholarship and exchange opportunities, as well as creating the science and energy partnerships, and telling America’s story.

So, I want to thank you. And I know you do it under difficult circumstances. Sixty years has taken its toll on the Jakarta chancery. And as you prepare for a transition into a new facility, I know you’ve been working out of sheds and temporary buildings. Sometimes the power goes out, or the water stops running. But your commitment doesn’t stop in any way, and I thank you for that. And I thank family members who support you here in Indonesia, and back home.

And I particularly want to thank our local staff, because you are the backbone of our operation, as you are around the world. Year in and year out, ambassadors and counsels general and Foreign Service officers and secretaries of state come and go, but you stay. And you provide the continuity and the experience and expertise that we need. And that is greatly appreciated.

I also want to thank our security team. We have 550 security guards throughout the country. Thank you for all you do to protect us. And I know you put a lot of energy into protecting us, and you put a lot of energy into organizing volleyball tournaments. So I don’t know who won the last one, but I know it brought friends and family together, and raised everyone’s spirits. So thank you for that, as well.

So, really, this has been a smooth, productive set of meetings. And I am grateful to you. And I look forward to continuing to work with both ambassadors and with the tremendous teams that support them. President Obama and I believe that Indonesia is one of the most consequential relationships for both of our countries in the 21st century. And we are going to do everything we can to put it on the strongest possible foundation for years to come. Thank you all very much.

(Applause.)

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton waves from her plane prior to her departure from Indonesia's resort island of Bali on Sunday July 24, 2011. The United States said that it has invited a top North Korean envoy to New York for "exploratory talks" on the possible resumption of the six-party negotiations on denuclearisation. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the North's vice foreign minister and former nuclear negotiator, Kim Kye-Gwan, would visit the US "later this week" for the talks -- the first such contacts for almost two years. (AP Photo/ Saul Loeb, Pool)

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton disembarks from her plane upon arrival in Hong Kong on Sunday July 24, 2011. The United States said that it has invited a top North Korean envoy to New York for "exploratory talks" on the possible resumption of the six-party negotiations on denuclearisation. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the North's vice foreign minister and former nuclear negotiator, Kim Kye-Gwan, would visit the US "later this week" for the talks -- the first such contacts for almost two years. (AP Photo/Saul Loeb, pool)

 

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Remarks With Indonesian Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu Alongside the ASEAN Forum

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Bali, Indonesia
July 23, 2011

TRADE MINISTER PANGESTU: Her Excellency Secretary Hillary Clinton, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, and especially all of you young Indonesian and ASEAN entrepreneurs who will chart the next big chapter of the future of the region. Let me first of all welcome Her Excellency Secretary Hillary Clinton and thank her and the State Department, especially those from the Global Entrepreneurship Program, for the support in organizing this regional entrepreneurship summit. I would also like to thank the Global Entrepreneurship Program Indonesia and partners for all their hard work and passion and commitment. You can all pat yourselves in the back because you can literally feel the buzz of excitement in the room about the potential of Indonesia and the region.

We have heard some exciting news that, for instance, Google is evaluating coming to Indonesia, and Facebook, who came to Indonesia a few weeks ago, may also be interested. And yesterday, it was mentioned that the entrepreneurship delegation from the U.S. who came a few days prior to this summit, many on their first visit to Indonesia, felt that the potential here was 10 times more than expected. So all good news, and it is really – coming and seeing and believing, I think, is the key word. And some of our winners already got some investors, so this is not just a summit, but there are real results.

I think our hard work is just beginning – that is to provide the right environment and ecosystem for entrepreneurship to ensure that the potential is realized, that the young entrepreneurs who are our future are provided access to walk the first mile and be sustained to reach the last mile. Not all will become billionaires, but as Tarun Khanna from Harvard Business School said, it is not about the few billionaires that is important; it is better to create billions of entrepreneurs.

It now gives me great pleasure to invite our distinguished keynote speaker. She is someone who truly understands what entrepreneurship means, and more importantly, the power and potential of women-run small and medium-sized businesses to drive economic growth. She and I share the same belief that when women progress, countries progress, and when women progress, we achieve economic development, reduction of poverty, and the human race takes a great leap. We believe real and strategic action must be done, and I believe this is something that is a commitment of Secretary Clinton. Women comprise more than half of the world’s population, yet they are also 70 percent of the world’s poor and two-thirds of those who are not taught to read and write; that women get much less of the loans available despite the fact that they are better at payback of these loans.

Her commitment is clear. My intelligence tells me that no matter how busy or tight your schedule is, she always finds time in her travel to meet with women who are advancing their societies and growing their countries’ economies. Some said that the number of times she has visited has been up to 85 countries in the 232 days since taking office in January 2009. This is from Bloomberg. And that is why she has become a champion of women’s access to credit, to markets, to communications technology, to training and mentoring and so much more. Her passion and commitment were instrumental in the many initiatives and public-private partnership programs to grow women’s business leaderships in the Middle East and many other programs, including the one that launched at APEC last year. We hope that such initiatives can also be launched in this region.

So please welcome the U.S. Secretary of State, a champion for social and economic entrepreneurs everywhere. Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, may I invite you now to the podium, please. (Applause.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I cannot tell you how happy I am to be here. I’ve been looking forward to coming this afternoon, and I want to thank all of you for being part of this exciting ASEAN Entrepreneurship Summit running simultaneously with the ASEAN Summit and the ASEAN Regional Forum. I want to express my appreciation to Minister Pangestu. She has been a terrific leader and host for this summit. I’m very grateful to her. I also want to thank our Indonesian hosts as well because so many of you have done a lot of the heavy lifting, so to speak, in order to make this a success. And I want to thank the Global Entrepreneurship Partnership Initiative chair, Chris Kanter. I want to thank our team from Washington who have been tireless in their promotion of entrepreneurship, and all of the Indian, Indonesian officials and others from across the ASEAN region.

Before I begin, I want just to express my heartfelt sympathy and solidarity with the people of Norway. The United States strongly condemns any kind of terrorism no matter where it comes from or who perpetuates it, and this tragedy strikes right at the heart of the soul of a peaceful people. Norway is well known for its efforts to resolve conflicts, bring people together, it sets a high example for social entrepreneurship. And this terrible event is especially heartbreaking because so many of the victims were young people under the age of 25, and our hearts go out to their families and to the Norwegian people and government. And this just reminds us what a precious gift we all have of our lives, and I think we are called to make the most of it for ourselves, but also for our communities, our countries and humanity.

I am delighted to participate in this first ASEAN Regional Entrepreneurship Summit. And I congratulate all of you, the entrepreneurs and investors, the government officials and development experts who are exchanging ideas, sharing best practices, creating new opportunities and even making investments. Now, Indonesia is the natural choice to hold this first summit. This is, as you know, one of the three largest democracies in the world in a dynamic region that is increasingly at the heart of global commerce and growth.

Like so many other countries, Indonesia is also home to an enormous population of young people. Almost 75 million Indonesians are under the age of 18. Now, those young people are growing up in a world very different than the one I grew up in, and they are connected in ways that I could never have imagined even 10 years ago, let alone a long time ago when I was that age. And the jobs and opportunities that they need and deserve cannot and will not be created by governments alone no matter how large a public sector grows. And while traditional corporations and established industries are very important, the fact is they too are unlikely to create all the jobs needed for the future.

So what we need to do is what you have been doing – tap the creativity and innovation of citizens, men and women alike. I like to say that talent is universal but opportunity is not. We can begin to change that if we find ways to unleash people’s potential, help good ideas take root and flourish. And potential entrepreneurs are all around us. They are anyone with the imagination to conceive of a new product, process, or service, the ability, persistence, and sheer hard work to turn that idea into something real.

Now, my father was an entrepreneur. He had a small fabric printing business and he employed one or two workers to help him, depending upon the level of his business orders. But he also enlisted my mother, my brothers, and me. One of my earliest memories as a little girl is standing at a very long table on which a very long roll of cloth is laid and helping to lift a screen, a silk screen, from place to place and then helping to hold the squeegee of the paint to push it over the screen and then lift it up and continue down the table.

So my father, who was a man of modest means – he didn’t have a lot of money, he had no personal connections of any sort – it was just his sheer hard work, his shoe leather as well as his brain power. And he made his business succeed. Now, he did not become a millionaire or a billionaire, but he supported his family, he sent us to college, he gave us a very comfortable life through his own persistence, his self confidence, and a willingness to take risks.

Now, when I was growing up, we called that the American dream and it attracted tens of millions of immigrants to our shores and still does. Entrepreneurship has been written into the DNA of the American people. But I have now traveled enough to see that there are people all over the world with the talent and the drive to achieve the same goals. So I have learned that this is also a universal dream.

Earlier this week, in Chennai in Southern India, I visited the Working Women’s Forum, a community organization that provides microfinance loans, training and support so that very poor women can start their own small businesses and participate in the formal economy. I met a woman there who had come with her family as a refugee from Burma. She stood up in front of a very crowded room, including television cameras, and told her story in a very confident presentation.

She talked about how when she arrived, she and her family had nothing, that there were predatory lenders charging high interest rates for what she wanted to do, to start a small business to support herself and her family. She talked about the pressure she was under from her family members to stay home, but her answer was, “Well, who is going to put food on the table? Who is going to provide the means for us to send the children to school if we do not all work?” And she ran into other obstacles that would have really paralyzed someone who was there all alone.

But fortunately, the Working Women’s Forum was there to help her. She had none of the advantages that allow entrepreneurs to thrive. But when she joined this women’s group, the door was finally open and now, she is supporting her family. She and her husband are sending their children to school and they’re following their own dreams.

That’s really what this summit is about. I mean, it talks about entrepreneurship, but it’s really about dreams, isn’t it? Because this story can be told millions of times over in every country on every continent, and we’re here today because we believe in the power of opportunity and entrepreneurship to transform lives and lift up communities. And we’re committed in the Obama Administration to helping entrepreneurship grow further and faster all over the world, and this summit is evidence of that.

But we need to tackle the obstacles. It’s not enough just to bring together in one place experienced entrepreneurs and business leaders with young people with good ideas even who have already started their businesses. We need to tackle the obstacles that entrepreneurs face – cumbersome government regulations, corrupt officials who demand a bribe before issuing a business permit, and for women like the woman I met in Chennai, cultural norms that might prevent her from handling money or owning land.

The United States wants to work with you to bring down these barriers. That means reducing the time it takes to open a business here in this region. It means connecting entrepreneurs with investors, not only in their own countries, but outside them, as has happened here. Improving the business climate by protecting intellectual property rights; if you come up with a good idea, it should be protected so that you can then make the most of it and spin it off into who knows where it might go, and of course, making it easier for foreign investors to find local projects worthy of support.

And we particularly want to encourage women entrepreneurs, because, as the minister said, no economy can thrive if it leaves half the population behind. In fact, a recent United Nations study estimated that in the Asia Pacific region, the untapped potential of women has cost the region more than $40 billion in lost GDP over the last decade. So we’re supporting new microfinance projects, building peer networks, and offering mentorships with American businesswomen.

This really builds on what President Obama emphasized in his 2009 speech in Cairo and that we reaffirmed at the entrepreneurship summit last year in Washington – American became a global economic power by nurturing a culture of creativity and innovation, by setting the conditions in which entrepreneurs like my father could thrive and ideas could flourish. And we believe other countries can do exactly the same by embracing this model.

That’s why we created the Global Entrepreneurship Program and why we are supporting initiatives like Partnerships For a New Beginning, which recently opened a local chapter here in Indonesia. With a network of public and private partners, we are identifying promising entrepreneurs like all of you here, helping to train them, connecting them with mentors and potential investors, while advocating for supportive policies and regulations and always, always talking about what actually works in the real world. We have led delegations of businesspeople and investors to Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt, where they met with entrepreneurs. And we are connecting entrepreneurs all over the world with Diaspora communities living in the United States who actually want to support projects back in their ancestral homes.

I am pleased to announce that Indonesia is one of the five countries around the world in which the United States will work to foster angel investor groups and connect them with startups and entrepreneurs. And there is no shortage here in Indonesia, which is why we chose Indonesia. In the run-up to this summit, 500 Indonesians entered our business plan competition, running the gamut from high-tech innovators to more traditional brick-and-mortar entrepreneurs.

And many of them are here with us today. One of the prizes went to Indomog, an online payment gateway that offers vouchers for internet gainers. Another went to Gojek, which offers a motorcycle, taxi, and delivery service to Jakartans frustrated by traffic gridlock, which sounds very familiar for someone who comes from New York. Finalists have found new customers and new investors and, as the minister said, some have already received investments. One has received pledges for a million dollars’ worth of startup capital. And everyone, all 500 of you – (applause) – drew up a plan and took a chance on it. And I’d like all of the 500 who are still here who were chosen to please stand up so that we can applaud all of you, because you’re really what this is all about. (Applause.)

We want to see stories that are successes repeated here in Indonesia, across the ASEAN region, and around the world. Now, why would the United States be doing this? I think it’s fair to ask. Why are we doing this? Well, partly because we really come from a culture that thinks if we can help other people do better, that’s good for them and it’s good for us. It makes for a more prosperous, peaceful, stabler, more secure world. If people are given the opportunity to live up to their own God-given potential, they are more likely to make a contribution to their families, communities, countries, and indeed the world.

We’re also doing it because we think it works. We think that our own experience demonstrates that. And we have seen over now 235 years, but particularly in the last 150 years, we have seen people come from many of the ASEAN nations to our country with nothing in their pocket except a big dream that they hope to be able to realize. And yes, they worked hard, but they had worked hard back home. What was different is they now had the opportunity to profit from their work.

So when I travel around the world and I go to countries that are still not democracies, still putting up major barriers to women, still interfering with both men and women starting businesses, it breaks my heart because since I know people from practically every country on earth who have come to my own, I know that there are millions and millions more back where they came from who could be just as successful as that businesswoman or that doctor or that academic or whoever who came to the United States. And it wasn’t that they worked harder; it was they had a chance to profit from their work.

So we know this works, and we know too that free and open societies are more likely to benefit more people over a longer period of time than any other kind of society. And it’s not only a chance to vote in elections, as important as that is. It’s not only a free press, as critical as that is, or democratic institutions in a government that is transparent and accountable and produces results for people. It is whether there’s a free market and an economy that works for people who get up every day and work hard.

Now, not everybody is going to invent Google or Facebook, but they can be like my dad was. They can have their own small business, their own piece of that American dream or that Indonesian dream and they can do well for themselves and they can make a difference to the next generation. My mother never went to college. My father went to college on a football scholarship. He was a great athlete, not a great student. But because he could build a business, he was able to make our lives more and give us education and greater opportunity.

So we may come from different places and we certainly have different histories, different cultures, ethnicities, religions, all the things that too often separate human beings. As opposed to making us more interesting to each other, it too often provides gaps or gulfs, even, between us knowing one another and working with one another. But if you really look at what many of us know to be true, that the power of the individual, that the person with the good idea who is willing to work hard can do much more than grow a business.

As an entrepreneur, you literally can help shape the future, not only with your product or your service, but with your dream. So thank you for dreaming, thank you for being part of this first ever ASEAN Entrepreneurship Summit, and please know that the United States believes in you, believes in your dreams, and wants to do whatever we can, working with you to help you realize them for the betterment of yourselves, your families, your communities, and a country like Indonesia. Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

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I do not usually include everybody’s schedule, but the secretary has a large, busy delegation with her at ASEAN.

Public Schedule for July 23, 2011

Public Schedule

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
July 23, 2011

SECRETARY HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON
Secretary Clinton is on foreign travel in Bali, Indonesia. She is accompanied by Under Secretary Hormats, Under Secretary Otero, Assistant Secretary Shapiro, Assistant Secretary Stock and Director Sullivan.

9:10 a.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton participates in the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Retreat, in Bali, Indonesia.
(POOLED CAMERA SPRAY)

12:00 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-Hwan, in Bali, Indonesia.
(POOLED CAMERA SPRAY)

12:30 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton participates in a trilateral meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Matsumoto and Korean Foreign Minister Kim, in Bali, Indonesia.
(OPEN PRESS COVERAGE FOR OPENING REMARKS)

1:50 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Matsumoto, in Bali, Indonesia.
(POOLED CAMERA SPRAY)

2:00 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with Singaporean Foreign Minister Shanmugam, in Bali, Indonesia.
(POOLED CAMERA SPRAY)

2:35 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with Bruneian Foreign Minister Mohammed Bolkiah, in Bali, Indonesia.
(POOLED CAMERA SPRAY)

3:05 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton delivers remarks to the ASEAN Regional Entrepreneurship Summit, in Bali, Indonesia.
(OPEN PRESS COVERAGE)

4:30 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, in Bali, Indonesia.
(POOLED CAMERA SPRAY)

UNDER SECRETARY FOR DEMOCRACY AND GLOBAL AFFAIRS MARIA OTERO
Under Secretary Otero is on foreign travel in Bali, Indonesia through July 24 to lead the Democracy and Civil Society Working Group of the U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership’s Joint Commission.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR EAST ASIAN AND PACIFIC AFFAIRS KURT CAMPBELL
Assistant Secretary Campbell accompanies Secretary Clinton on foreign travel in Bali, Indonesia.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR OCEANS AND INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL AND SCIENTIFIC AFFAIRS KERRI-ANN JONES
Assistant Secretary Jones accompanies Secretary Clinton on foreign travelin Bali, Indonesia.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR POLITICAL-MILITARY AFFAIRS ANDREW SHAPIRO
Assistant Secretary Shapiro accompanies Secretary Clinton on foreign travel in Bali, Indonesia.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR EDUCATIONAL AND CULTURAL AFFAIRS ANN STOCK
Assistant Secretary Stock accompanies Secretary Clinton on foreign travelin Bali, Indonesia.

AMBASSADOR-AT-LARGE FOR GLOBAL WOMEN’S ISSUES MELANNE VERVEER
Ambassador Verveer is on foreign travel in India through July 23 to meet with government officials, members of the NGO community, local women political leaders, and business stakeholder.

SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR GLOBAL PARTNERSHIPS KRIS BALDERSTON
Special Representative Balderston is on foreign travel in Spain meeting with potential new public and private sector partners for the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.

DIRECTOR OF POLICY PLANNING JAKE SULLIVAN
Director Sullivan accompanies Secretary Clinton on foreign travel in Bali, Indonesia.

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Remarks at Opening of US-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Bali, Indonesia
July 22, 2011

Thank you very much, Foreign Secretary del Rosario. Thank you for co-hosting and co-chairing this important U.S.-ASEAN ministerial. I want to thank our hosts, the Government of Indonesia and our colleague, the Foreign Minister, for giving us such a warm welcome to this beautiful part of your country.

I am pleased to have this opportunity, once again, to affirm the commitment of the United States to our partnership with ASEAN. For two-and-a-half years, the Obama Administration has prioritized our engagement with ASEAN and the region, because we believe it is an important commitment to peace, progress, and prosperity, not only in the Asia-Pacific region, but throughout the world. The countries of ASEAN are home to nearly 600 million people, and represent America’s sixth largest export market. And the community of nations represented here today are really important leaders in meeting the global challenges we face together, from climate change, to proliferation, to piracy.

So, from our perspective, ASEAN is where the United States wants to be, which is why we have elevated our relationship. We acceded to the ASEAN Treaty of Amity and Cooperation. President Obama first — hosted the first-ever U.S.-ASEAN leaders meeting. We have sent our first permanent U.S. ambassador, Ambassador Carden, to ASEAN, and joined the ministerial dialogue on defense and security. And we look forward to formally joining the East Asia Summit, which is ASEAN-driven. And today I hope we will agree to a new plan of action, a five-year blueprint for taking the partnership between America and ASEAN to the next level.

So, again, let me thank my colleagues, let me apologize for being a little late in coming to this important meeting. But I am very much looking forward to our work together, to a productive discussion about how you can realize the promise of our partnership. Thank you all very much.

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Just a personal observation here: After two-and-a-half years of following Secretary Clinton all over the globe at so many conferences like this, the disjunct that has been forming in the back of my mind has crystallized. We watch her racking up the miles flying all over the globe at exhausting warp-speed, speaking in her characteristic, unhesitating bullet style, establishing, as best she can, a leadership role for the U.S.A. in the 21st century while the president insists upon “leadership from behind.” They are at cross purposes!

Leadership, by definition, must be from the front line, not from the rear. Commanding officers lead the troops from the front. They do not lurk in the background and request the front line troops to submit battle plans for them to accept or reject while they drum their fingers impatiently on the topographic battleground table  in the tent. This is the primary contradiction in operation within the administration and the reason why the foreign policy works as far as the president gives his secretary of state her head, and why the domestic policy is failing miserably. In short, the president lacks a Hillary Clinton setting domestic policy for him, so his “leadership from the rear” position goes unbalanced on the domestic scene by anyone willing to push for a more aggressive position at the front line.

I do not see a solution to this flaw in the administration short of replacing the top of the pyramid. If the Democratic Party does not wake up to this necessity, we will be in for another eight years of disastrous Republican leadership.

There is no sense in reelecting the incumbent to four more years of what we have right now or for the simple sake of reelecting him. We have lost our leadership role in space. We are on the verge of losing our role in the global economy, and it is the result of inaction, hesitance, and a lack of bold, confident movement forward. It is time for a change we need. If the DNC does not make that modification, we will be headed for still more change that we do not need.

That is my two cents, and every cent I have goes to HillaryClinton.com!

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