Posts Tagged ‘Pathways to Prosperity’

Some miscellaneous videos from Wednesday’s visit to the Dominican Republic are beginning to appear.  Here are a few.


Remarks at Pathways to Prosperity

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Pathways to Prosperity, posted with vodpod


*** Remarks on Action in UNESCO ***

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Action in UNESCO, posted with vodpod


Vodpod videos no longer available.

Action in UNESCO, posted with vodpod


***Remarks on Syria ***

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Remarks on Syria, posted with vodpod

Here are some remarks from the Pathways high-level panel discussion. 


Remarks at the Pathways High-Level Panel Discussion



Hillary Rodham Clinton

Secretary of State

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

October 5, 2011



United Nations ECLAC Executive Secretary Alicia Barcena

Organization of American States Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza

International Development Bank Vice President Steven Puig


Moderator: Juan Carlos Lopez, CNN


MR. LOPEZ: (Via interpreter) Good afternoon, my name is Juan Carlos Lopez from CNN en Espanol and it is an honor to join you in this meeting of Pathways to Prosperity. For this conversation, very distinguished guests to discuss the significance of this meeting and what we should expect from the future. I would like to begin by introducing our panel members. We are fine tuning the audio assistance, but if you could be seated, please, we will begin with our conversation.

They do not necessarily need to be introduced, but I’ll do it anyway. I have in my left the Honorable Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State – thank you very much, Madam Clinton, for joining us – and the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Mr. Insulza, as well as Ms. Alicia Barcena, Executive Director for the Economic Mission for Latin America, and the Caribbean, and the Vice-President of the Inter-American Development Bank, Steven Puig. And he is the only Dominican who is a member of our panel.

Good afternoon. We are discussing about Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas. And the question is: What does this mean, and how does this translate to those who are seeking a better standard of living? I want to give each of you the opportunity to explain so that the people out there can understand the significance. We will have this 30-minute discussion. I will be asking questions in both Spanish and English. Our distinguished guests will respond. Our distinguished guest, Secretary Clinton, will respond in English. All the other speakers will respond in Spanish. And this will be a 30-minute conversation.

I’d like to begin by giving you the opportunity to discuss something that we’ve already mentioned: social inclusion. What does this mean? It has a very nice ring to it, but a lot of people will ask: What does this mean, especially to me? Honorable Secretary.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Juan Carlos, what it means, for those of us gathered here for the Pathways to Prosperity is that we want to create more economic opportunity that is pervasive throughout every society, so that more people have a chance to start businesses, to enter the formal economy, to grow businesses, to have a chance to improve their incomes and their futures for themselves and their families. And as I said earlier, it’s exciting how much Latin America has grown in the last decade. That is the first and most important achievement. But the second, equally important achievement is to make sure as growth continues that it is broadly available to everyone willing to work for it.

MR. LOPEZ: Secretario.

MR. INSULZA: (Via interpreter) We still face issues. We are still not growing at the rate at – that we wish. But nothing that has to do with inclusion or any other thing will grow – will work without economic growth. You’ve experienced a very good, successful economic growth, very good development in terms of political development, but our becoming part of the global economy – and particularly, we have to overcome inequalities.

There are also other issues that deal with crime, very high crime rate. However, these inequities that go beyond the mere fact that some people make more money than others. Latin America has rates of inequalities that translate into all the areas of life – oil distribution, access to services, quality of education, and also the quality of their education and the discrimination of minorities such as indigenous minorities and others.

So the whole issue of inclusion boils down to overcoming this and overcoming inequalities, and the Honorable Secretary has very clearly stated it – create opportunities. It means the creation of opportunities, which is essential to our people. And that is why the issues addressed by Pathways to Prosperity are essential. In terms of education, issues pertaining to education, the whole issue of the development of the small and medium-sized enterprises – micro, small, and medium-sized. So enhancing that implies enhancing people, low-income people, providing much more jobs, much more permanent jobs, not necessarily a lot of small – which does not boil down exclusively to creation, because a lot of small enterprises are created and then disappear. We have to provide them access to markets, to education, training, and finances.

MR. LOPEZ: Secretario.

MS. BARCENA: (Via interpreter) Well, I think that our continent, our region, is not the poorest in the world, but it’s the most unequal region in the world. There are still 180 million Latin Americans and Caribbeans who are poor, and that hurts. Therefore, what we set forth is that the key to social inclusion is employment – employment with social protections, formal employment, decent employment. And that will be achieved only if there is productivity and prosperity.

Our continent, our region, has made great headway in the last decade – even before, in the ’90s and the recent decade. Why? Because we turned into a region with macroeconomic discipline and progressive policies. What did the governments do? Well, they did a great deal to create social assistance programs at the beginning, and then with conditioned cash transfers to poor families. And these have had a significant impact. Through these programs, a number of Latin Americans came out of poverty.

I will share a datum with you. When the last decade came to a good close in the ’80s in Latin America, 50 percent of the people were poor. Now, 30 percent are poor, at least 180 million. So how do we achieve a hundred – social inclusion? Therein lies the rub, so to speak. So how do we articulate to those that make more with those that make less, those that have a higher income with those that have a lower income? That is the issue at the heart of inclusion. It’s not just fighting against extreme poverty, but we need to link large companies with small and medium-sized enterprises. We can’t have those divergences, those inequalities that divide us that so conflicted between us. Everyday citizens need to see that this society promises social mobility, that the fact that they do create a small and medium enterprise can link them to large enterprises, with exports, with modernity.

And I think that message needs to be conveyed to young people. Nowadays, I believe that the greatest problem in Latin America lies with the young population. Unemployment in Latin America is at 7.3 percent. It’s not that bad. It’s better even than before the crisis. But youth unemployment is double that, 15 percent. And we have those – the young people that don’t study, don’t work – there are 19 million youths that do not work or study. And they should be our target for greater social inclusion.

MR. PUIG: (Via interpreter) Yes, Juan Carlos. When we think about inclusion, we have in our minds 70 percent of Latin American population that makes less than 10 U.S. dollars per day. Not only them, but we also think about women and other minorities that must be included in our social processes and our economic processes. When we talk about inclusion per se, we talk about issues that are similar to the ones raised by the Secretary – access to knowledge, funding, and essential services. And when they translate those issues to the very concrete level of – it boils down to access to health, education, water, power, electrical power, sanitation.

And we’re also thinking about the issues raised by Alicia, this linkage, this articulation between the large corporations, the large business people and the smaller entrepreneurs. In our case, we’ve developed a team that works exclusively with these groups. And this team has focused on identifying platforms, which is what we call them, with inclusion to third parties. It may be business or government activities.

And if you allow me to give you a short example, because I believe that with examples we understand everything much better, one of the first projects that we implemented was in the north of Mexico, where we found a number of municipalities that had no paved streets, and these neighborhoods that had developed very informally. So the municipality had no resources to build their roads. So we partnered with a private company – in this case, it was CEMEX — to build those roads. And finally, what we did was we set up some 36,000 micro-credits for people living on the fringes of these streets to enjoy these new streets. And for a very pleasant surprise, the experience of the repayment, the collection of that microcredit, fortunately it was in very good – even within the standards that we had foreseen, and that has a – that also is involved in the reduction of weeds that induces ailments – respiratory ailments abound among the people living in those areas – enhance access to services and the education of their people.

MR. LOPEZ: (Via interpreter) Secretary – I was going to ask the question in English, but she is receiving the interpretation. This meeting is – the whole idea is not only to share experiences and repeat stories, but also to take great measures. You talked about the 5 million U.S. dollars that have already been invested, and you also talked about the 17.5 million that will be invested in the future. How do you see the desire, the appetite, in the U.S. Congress to support these initiatives when today, for example, President Obama passed a law to fund a government until the 18th of November, and you are talking about cuts, budgetary cuts? Do you see that within Congress there is an interest to support these measures in the future?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think there is because we are bound so closely with Latin America. We are bound by ties of history and culture and family and commerce. And it matters greatly to the United States what happens here, and vice versa. So what we are doing is making the case that our investments in Pathways to Prosperity projects are going to pay off.

In this wonderful book that Alicia has helped to bring to publication, from the UN, the IDB, and the OAS, and each of the organizations up here, there are best practices. We know what can work. So we’re not just going to the Congress and saying we would like to invest in a better economy for Latin America, so just give us the money. We’re going and saying we know what works. We want to partner with the OAS, with the UN, with the IDB and others in order to translate that into tangible progress. So I think there’s a great deal of interest and commitment from our Congress to support that kind of investment.

MR. LOPEZ: (Via interpreter) Secretary, you represent the OAS, the members of which are all in this hemisphere, with the exception of Cuba. In this meeting, we have half of the region. Are there initiatives that are moving forward consistently?

MR. INSULZA: (Via interpreter) Well, I think that one of the initiatives that is being discussed here, I’m not going to say that it’s being implemented in all, but in most of the countries of the region. For example, the Secretary has just mentioned micro-funding. Micro-credit as something that has disseminated consistently. I would like to see more targeted policy to better include the private banking sector into micro-credit, micro-financing, which is still focused on the public sector. But let me tell you that the countries that I’m familiar with all throughout, micro-credit has grown 10, 20 fold.

Conditional transfers also – it’s another example in Mexico, we have a program supported by – that was – it was replicated in Brazil and Chile. Today the whole issue of these conditional transfers we see all throughout the region because, as the Secretary has indicated, when there are good practices, these good practices are disseminated. And when there are ways to leave poverty behind, well, people follow them, and take them beyond many ideas and many proposals, other different proposals. So I do believe that we can do much more. Our network for social inclusion would have to be further expanded and further strengthened. But we have made great headway, and particularly in this learning process among each other.

MR. LOPEZ: (Via interpreter) This started in 2008. The United States has played an important role, as other members have. Is Latin America clear on what it represents to the U.S. economy? And is the U.S. clear on what the Latin American economy represents to the economy of the U.S.?

MS. BARCENA: (Via interpreter.) That’s an excellent question. I just gave Secretary Clinton a document that we prepared when President Obama came to Chile, where he delivered a very important speech, and we presented a series data that are very significant on the relationship between the U.S. and Latin America. A datum: 19 percent of imports to Latin America and the Caribbean are coming from the United States. We are a purchaser of goods and services from the United States more important than China. Therefore the United States must take us more into consideration.

And it’s a very powerful argument to present before the Congress so that they are aware of the fact that we are valuable partners to the United States because we are a stable region, a region that’s growing, a region that is democratic and that has a deep, abiding commitment to democracy. And I want to say that for us, the United States, in particular for the Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico, is fundamentally our first trade partner. The U.S. is the first trade partner of Latin America. The second is Europe, but Europe is being replaced by China.

Now, I want to connect the dots. I want to connect three dots in particular in this – on this issue of Pathways to Prosperity. Why is this initiative invaluable? Well, because we’re talking about trade. That’s fair and well. You have interregional commerce. We know that the interregional trade of most significance throughout the entire hemisphere takes place in Central America. And who trades with Central America? SMEs. Those are the enterprises that are getting involved in trade with greater added value – textile companies, manufacturing companies, chemical companies. That is what’s most important.

Truth be told, each country by itself won’t be able to pull ahead, and Central America and Mexico have a very important trade partner in the United States. The Caribbean does as well. And here in this document, we are portraying 60 successful experiences, one of which is called STEP Caribbean. This is a tourism initiative that was undertaken by all Caribbean countries whereby they have partnered in engineering training for hotel entrepreneurs so that visitors don’t go to a single country, so that they go to the entire region as a whole. Now this STEP Caribbean has been transferred to Central America and it’s going to be replicated in South America.

There are a number of experiences. Many are reflected here in this document. Many are not. But there has been work that has taken place over the course of the last 10 years, and even more, that what’s important is the ability to replicate these experiences. This STEP Caribbean is important because it can be replicated. There are others that are interesting.

Somebody mentioned a center in Texas. There is a center called SDC, the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Center, and this is a center that congregates 1,100 smaller centers. El Salvador has a similar initiative in Mexico that’s created a number of centers for its small and medium-sized entrepreneurs following this model.

So first, trade. And I believe that Pathways to Prosperity creates links between open countries that are willing to trade more in goods and services, but not just to benefit large companies. Seventy-one percent of trade is taking place between those large enterprises. What we want to do, in fact, is replicate the Central American model and to see how we can include SMEs into this vitality of the 16 countries that are part of Pathways. We are champions of this initiative because we are true believers in the fact that only through this type of trade, through the opening of pathways, that we can achieve this inclusion and the articulation – linkage with companies.

And let give you another example. This example truly pains me. It is 40 times more expensive to access broadband in Bolivia than in France, a hundred times more expensive in Bolivia than in Korea. That is unconscionable. Pathways’ goal is to link broadband everywhere so everybody has access, so all companies have access to cheap broadband, and that is also here. And that has been achieved through the support of the European Union as well. And we have other partners that are interested in the region that want to create better linkages in trade, SMEs, large enterprises, and employment. And I emphasize this: Employment is the key to equality.

MR. LOPEZ: (Via interpreter) How do we do away with the suspicious that generate in too many countries in which people say, well, the assistance from the large multilateral organizations is for others, not for me?

MR. PUIG: (Via interpreter) Communication is very important. What I did when I came here to the Dominican Republic today – the first thing I did is that I couldn’t stay here in the capital city but go to Santiago to explain what we are doing in multilateral terms to benefit the SMEs and other companies working in the country, and I believe other multilaterals are also doing so. We have a task before us, which is to communicate better what we truly do, to organize meetings such as this, and present summaries about we do.

Recently at the World Bank meeting two weeks ago, we presented a paper among 31 multilateral and bilateral organizations in which we summarized similar cases as presented in this publication. So I think that what we’re missing is communication about what it is that we do.

MR. LOPEZ: (Via interpreter) Secretary, we’re talking about Pathways to Prosperity. The U.S. economy is undergoing a difficult stage. The Latin American economy has fared better during this crisis. The Pathways to Prosperity in the United States is in Latin America, and would that enable the region to harness this possibility to make the most of it?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, that is certainly one of our hopes because, as we just heard, Latin America is our biggest trading partner. The hemisphere trades more with each other than we do with anybody around the world, and I think that’s to our benefit because of our other connections. So we want to deepen and broaden that cooperation that can come through trade, through investment, open up the doors and knock down the barriers that still exist.

But it is also true that we believe strongly in making sure that we benefit the most people. The days of just having, as the Secretary General Insulza said, just having the benefits from trade and business and investment go to a small group of people so that you just perpetuate inequality have to end, because you cannot grow stable prosperity unless you broaden the base of prosperity. So our mission and what we are trying to do through Pathways is to open as many pathways as possible. There’s not just one superhighway pathway between Latin America and the United States which is only populated by the biggest companies, the multinationals, and only benefiting the very tops of our economic elites. We want many pathways to prosperity. And that’s why it’s plural, because we’re looking for all the good ideas and the best practices. And we’ve seen so many changes in Latin America in the last decade, and we want to build on those changes.

MR. LOPEZ: (Via interpreter) We’re running out of time and I’d like to ask a question to the four of you. You’re – we’re talking about an investment in microenterprises, SMEs, and the large ones. And in the report, I found some data from APLEX saying that micro-SMEs generate 60 percent of jobs in four countries – Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico – but only 28 percent of the GDP, and only 8 percent of exports, while larger corporations generate 40 percent of jobs, 71 percent of the GDP, and 92 percent of exports.

Here’s my question: What you are proposing, to give greater room for micro – small and middle-sized enterprises, if this pathway, this model, if it creates more jobs, will it be quality jobs or should we work on the basis of a new formula in which we enhance the share of these enterprises at the economic level?

MR. INSULZA: (Via interpreter.) Well, that’s the whole idea. Indeed, the figures that you mention are accurate, because as we said repeatedly, new opportunities are created. But still, the small and medium-sized enterprises have not had enough access to technology, funds, markets. As you clearly stated, only 8 percent of exports are produced by them, and – but at the same time, they are perhaps if one also focuses on the issue of value added, we would have to consider that many of the large corporations that export from Latin America are exporting commodities.

In this growth process, there is a problem in Latin America that we have not discussed but which are of concern, which is that the export of commodities have grown much faster than the export of manufactured goods. In this extraordinary growth, the export of manufactured goods have not grown at all. And where do we find this? We’re not going to find it among the large copper or steel corporations or oil corporations. Most probably, we’ll find it throughout a large network of SMEs to the extent that they are people that are better prepared, better skilled, with the ability to compete, that they can access credit, and as well, access technology, and that ultimately, they will have markets where – to place their goods.

So this transformation is essential not only to enhance the living conditions of many of these people, but also to improve the basis of opportunity – substantially improve this basis of opportunities.

MR. PUIG: (Via interpreter) I think that large companies don’t necessarily come about as large companies. They actually are born as small companies, medium companies. And I think we need to follow up with the small and medium enterprises to make sure that they do become large enterprises. And what we’ve done on our side, if we’re looking at SMEs through the Inter-American Investment Corporation, is provided technical assistance. SMEs that export, we’ve looked at the export figures that have been discussed for SMEs.

And here in the DR yesterday, we were launching a program with the export promoting authority in the DR, and this has the aim of helping small producers to understand the labeling that’s required for exports, the type of imports that they can avail themselves of to gain better access to markets and to be able to negotiate better prices in the destination market for their products. All these things require technical assistance, not just for exporting but we also want to focus on their own governance, we want enterprises that are incorporated, and that they understand how to have association plans or incorporation plans. Oftentimes, these SMEs don’t have that wherewithal. And we also want them to harness efficiencies at other levels, including energy efficiency, in order to make the most of those products.

MS. BARCENA: (Via interpreter) This is something that will not occur overnight. I’m convinced that policies are required, state policy is required, as well as deliberate interventions, Because the market by itself has already shown that it will not do it, so a state is required that is capable of designing, of developing very clear industrial policy where they clearly say which sectors are the ones that one could, to a certain extent, lead to enhance productivity, because this is a very structural issue, Latin America. The structural heterogeneity of the large companies that are very successful and the SMEs, 90 percent of these corporations that are generating 60 percent of jobs, but as 60 percent of jobs that are very limited because they are very, very small corporations that don’t have social security scheme, and it really costs them a lot to formalize their workers. So we bring here an example from the Colombian social security system where both the business sector and the state join efforts in order to be able to register them within the formal social security system.

But that requires the countries to develop very clear policy in terms of innovation, industrial policy, credit instruments, because credit is essential for SMEs, but frequently, they simply have no access because they have assets. For example, access to IT innovative mechanisms; we include here a beautiful example on how we can bring together clusters and networks and set them off through shared services that will not cost that much money to the SMEs. So, deliberate policies have to exist as well as much more investment. For example, in science and technology, our company invests very little, less than 1 percent in research and development. We will not even make it through the quarter with that.

In the large corporations, what we have to do in that case is to regulate in such a way that the large corporations will make a commitment. A beautiful example that I can give you of an exporting Paraguayan company – it exports finished goods – they used to export raw fruit and now they export a well-prepared product. We have to sit around the same table with large foundations, large companies, different stakeholders, private sector, public sector – we all sit around the table and we say, “Okay. If this good is being produced in our region, why are we going to buy it from abroad? Why don’t we benefit other communities? Why don’t we bring them on board?” And there are clear examples, but for this, we require instruments, policies, investment.

And that is why I believe that this initiative of the United States and all the countries, that each will contribute. And it’s happening. There are very interesting examples on how we are seeing this industrial policy; industrial in the American sense, in the English sense. I’m not talking about opening up plants everywhere, but to articulate, these productive networks based on our own wealth, our own natural resources, our region produces 45 percent of the copper in the world. Thirty percent of renewable energy in the world is produced in Latin America and the Caribbean, so we have one-third of the farming surface in the world, one-third of the water. With this wealth, why are we not able to come up with innovative ideas? Hence, why did we, the three agencies, do this?

I heard a conversation earlier in the quarter with someone who was saying, “No, there are mere empty proposals, no concrete things,” but then there are concrete things. There are people who are making great efforts to do things to create companies, to create a better, different world for which we need policies. And that is why our agencies must make themselves available to the communities, to serve the communities that are trying to move forward, having to pay very, very, very high prices for energy or for food. And they don’t really necessarily want to migrate to the U.S. They want to stay in their countries, but we have to identify these opportunities. And I do believe that by our – it will not happen itself. Policy is required.

MR. LOPEZ: (Via interpreter) We’re running out of time, I have a last question for Secretary Clinton. How difficult has it been or how easy has it been to convince your partners in this ministerial meeting? You’ve underscored this fourth meeting, how difficult has been to convince them of U.S. intentions? Everybody says the United States always acts in its self interest. It’s true with every other country, but it’s something that is thrown out a lot, and how will you continue to work in the region, through these efforts, so that you are all partners on equal footing and that the region is convinced of this?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think we’ve certainly have demonstrated our commitment and our persistence in following through on this kind of a model because we know that it can work. And I will follow-up on what Alicia said. There are some countries in the region that are taking advantage of what works. They are looking at the evidence, they are talking to their neighbors, they are reaching out around the world, and they are implementing all of these best practices. And there are some countries that just are not interested, or their politics don’t permit it, or their ideology doesn’t permit it.

So we want to focus on working with those countries who understand that in today’s competitive world, if you stand still, you fall backwards. And that’s true with the United States, just like it is true in every country represented here. But what’s so exciting about this time is we now have a body of evidence about what works. We’re not making it up. We’re not just throwing it out there. We can say, “Those cash transfer programs have worked in Mexico, Brazil, and Chile; why don’t you try them?” Then it’s up to the countries. It’s up the leadership, the citizenship.

So what we want to do is just to make sure that the people who are committed to inclusive growth, to broad-based prosperity, are all at the table. And that we’re going to support those who are really out there trying to make a difference in the lives of their people, and I think that’s the best way for us to be judged.

MR. LOPEZ: (Via interpreter) Thank you. Thank you very much, Secretary of State of the U.S. Thank you Mr. Insulza, Secretary General of the OAS. Thank you to Ms. Barcena and to Mr. Puig, the Vice-President of the IDB. Thank you for joining us, and we thank you the audience for being so patient. Now I ask you to kindly remain seated while our distinguished guests leave the room. I’m Juan Carolos Lopez from CNN en Espanol and it has been an honor and a pleasure to be here and to continue to be in the Dominican Republic.








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Friday:  She rocks Little Rock!

Secretary Clinton to Speak at the Kumpuris Distinguished Lecture Series in Little Rock, Arkansas on September 30

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
September 28, 2011

On September 30, 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will deliver remarks as part of the Kumpuris Distinguished Lecture Series at the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Arkansas. The lecture series is presented by the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, the William J. Clinton Foundation and AT&T.

Friday, September 30, 2011
Event begins at approximately 2 p.m. CDT

Clinton Presidential Center
Great Hall
1200 President Clinton Avenue
Little Rock, Arkansas 72227

The Frank and Kula Kumpuris Distinguished Lecture Series was established in 2007 with a $500,000 matching gift from the Kumpuris Family to the Clinton School in honor of their mother and in memory of their father. The lecture series is presented by the Clinton School of Public Service, the William J. Clinton Foundation and AT&T. Secretary Clinton will be the 14th speaker featured in the series. Past speakers have included former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Senator Dale Bumpers, Senator David Pryor, and President William J. Clinton.

Wednesday: A Day in the DR!

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton Travels to the Dominican Republic

Press Statement

Victoria Nuland
Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
September 28, 2011

Clinton will travel to the Dominican Republic October 5 for the fourth Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas ministerial. The government of the Dominican Republic will host the event, involving high-level government officials, policy makers, business leaders, academics, and representatives from international organizations from the Americas who will share best practices that promote inclusive economic growth and prosperity in the hemisphere.

During her visit to the Dominican Republic, Secretary Clinton will be accompanied by Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Business Affairs Jose W. Fernandez and Acting Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson as they meet with Pathways country ministers, Dominican President Leonel Fernández, and other Dominican government officials and private sector representatives attending the ministerial. Secretary Clinton will speak to participants in the Pathways Access Initiative and the Pathways Women Entrepreneurs’ Network and participate in a high-level panel with representatives of the Organization of American States, the Inter-American Development Bank and the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Pathways to Prosperity country partners are Western Hemisphere countries committed to democracy and open markets. Current participating countries include Belize, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Uruguay, and the United States. The Inter-American Development Bank, the Organization of American States, and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean are also partners in this initiative to promote inclusive growth, prosperity, and social justice.

Under Secretary Sherman, Assistant Secretary Fernandez and Acting Assistant Secretary Jacobson will continue their stay in Santo Domingo to attend the Americas Competitiveness Forum (ACF). ACF provides a platform for dialogue on how to strengthen competitiveness and to learn about investment opportunities in the Americas. ACF 2011 will highlight five key drivers of competitiveness: innovation in services, education, renewable energy, business climate, and trade facilitation. Assistant Secretary Fernandez will co-moderate (as part of the ACF) the fourth meeting of the U.S.-Central America Renewable Energy Forum, along with President of the National Energy Commission of the Dominican Republic Enrique Ramírez.

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Well, Secretary Clinton flew to Costa Rica overnight and was busy there at the Pathways to Prosperity Ministerial Meeting where she made the remarks that follow. I apologize for getting this up so late, but I, too, had a busy day (and will have a much busier one tomorrow). I could not post a Daily Schedule since there was none posted or sent out. Well, no harm, here is part of her day.

In these photos, we see her with outgoing President of Costa Rica, Oscar Arias,  President-elect Laura Chinchilla,  and small business owners.

Pathways to Prosperity Ministerial

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
San Jose, Costa Rica
March 4, 2010

I look around this table and I see nations dedicated to strengthening democracy, spreading opportunities, and promoting inclusive prosperity throughout the Americas.

Since we were together last year in El Salvador, our region has been tested by a number of crises, including the political upheaval in Honduras and the devastating earthquake in Haiti and Chile. I was in Santiago two days ago, where I had the opportunity to meet and consult with both President Bachelet and President-elect Pinera. And it is so important that we all, once again, come to the aid of our neighbors. Assistance is starting to flow in from across the hemisphere and it is reminiscent, tragically, of the great efforts made to support our friends in Haiti.

Chile was one of the first to respond to Haiti’s earthquake. The Chilean rescue and recovery workers performed heroic efforts. They worked around the clock to find and rescue survivors. Now it is time to stand with both Chile and Haiti as they recover and rebuild.

These emergencies highlight the strength of our ties as neighbors, partners, and friends, and they amplify the importance of the work we are doing through Pathways. We are here to help create conditions that enable people to obtain the economic and social opportunities critical to national and regional stability and progress. Whether our countries are seeking to defuse threats to democracy, protect against the effects of natural disasters, or build long-term prosperity, it is vital that we spread the benefits of economic growth and integration to more people in more places.

In our region, prosperity has widened in recent decades. We’ve worked to promote growth and create jobs through sound fiscal policy, bilateral trade agreements, multilateral pacts like NAFTA and CAFTA-DR, and institutions like the Inter-American Development Bank. But for too many people in too many places, including in my own country, opportunity is limited and fleeting.

So through Pathways, we are working to close the opportunity gap that exists for the farmers, craft people, and small business owners who are excluded from financial services and who lack access to global markets. We seek to engage women and historically marginalized populations such as indigenous peoples and Afro descendents to give them the chance to contribute to and share in the broader economic progress. And as the number of young people across the hemisphere rises, we are working together to make sure that the number of schools, access to higher education, and jobs rise as well.

What I like about Pathways to Prosperity is that it provides a critical forum where nations committed to democracy and open markets can share the best practices for promoting social and financial inclusion. We can and must learn from each other. The Americas, as we heard from the minister from Costa Rica, are one of the world’s most dynamic and diverse regions, with a strong economic base that is evident in the multitude of creative solutions already at work in our countries. And I’ve had a chance to see these solutions in practice.

In El Salvador, a public-private partnership has provided credit to small and medium size businesses, sparking entrepreneurship, and raising family incomes. In Brazil, where I was yesterday, I met with a group of businesses that represented partnership between Brazilian and U.S. Governments, and over 100 U.S. companies called Mais Unidos, which promotes corporate social responsibility, job training, English language training, especially for at-risk Brazilian young people, so that they too have the tools to compete.

And like you, I have followed the progress that Uruguay and Panama have made towards spreading the benefits of the digital age through initiatives that distribute laptops to children. I was just in Uruguay, meeting with the out-going president and now-president Mujica, and their “one laptop per child” program has given a great boost to learning and access to the wider world. Legislation passed in Honduras makes credit now available to farmers and small businesses through secured transactions. Every single one of these programs can be a model for the rest of us, and that is what I hope comes from our meeting today.

And I want to recognize our host, Costa Rica, a global leader in environmental sustainability. Costa Rica co-hosted a conference in January with the Organization of American States on how to encourage public participation in environmental decision making. Yesterday, the EARTH Institute here in Costa Rica led a discussion on the business challenges and opportunities facing women in the Americas, and the Rainforest Alliance, Wal-Mart, and other organizations discussed their efforts to bring micro-enterprises into global supply chains. That is a critical element of sustainable and inclusive development.

Now, none of these programs or policies will close the opportunity gap on its own. But together, they move us toward the goal of giving all people of the Americas the chance to fulfill their God-given potential, to earn a living, receive an education, participate in the global economy, and if they choose, to start or expand a business.

I am so impressed by the people in our hemisphere. I’ve traveled throughout this hemisphere for 17 years now, and I meet people with smart ideas, a great work ethic, and a strong entrepreneurial spirit everywhere. What I have concluded is that talent is universal, but opportunity is not. They just need a chance to show what they can do, to compete in a business environment that is fair and secure. And together, we can help provide for that.

To that end, the United States will be focusing on several Pathway initiatives to support entrepreneurs across the hemisphere. First, we’ve had success in our country with the creation of small business development centers where people can go to get information and advice about starting a business. Some Pathway countries have adopted this model, and we’re looking to share it with others by organizing exchange visits between countries.

Second, we are supporting women entrepreneurs across the hemisphere. We know that women still today are often overlooked or excluded, especially when they go for credit. I’ve had women say to me, “A lot of dreams die in the parking lots of banks.”

So even though these women are innovative, energetic, hardworking, and committed, we’re not doing enough to support their businesses and efforts. Last October, the United States hosted a conference for women entrepreneurs from the Americas. And we’ve launched a mentoring network to connect experienced women business leaders with women who are just starting out. In the coming months, we’ll work with you to deepen and expand that network.

Third, we want to help our partners in Pathways modernize customs procedures, something that was also mentioned by the Costa Ricans. Efficient and effective customs practices are critical to attracting foreign investment and succeeding in global markets. Now, several countries in Pathways are also members of APEC. The members of APEC have agreed to reduce our trade logistics delays and costs by 5 percent. And I challenge the other members of Pathways to work with us to do the same. The United States will sponsor workshops for public and private sector officials to share best practices for improving customs procedures. At APEC, we looked at research which showed that these small changes in customs procedures that have a direct and significant impact on improving business opportunities in every country.

Fourth, trade requires effective communication. This year, we have offered 100 teachers from Pathways countries training in English language instruction, and over 400,000 students across the region are learning English at the 140 bi-national centers we support. This is work we are committed to continuing, and I’d like to ask our partners in Pathways to make this a mutual exchange. Millions of U.S. citizens speak Spanish as a first or second language, or are learning how to speak it. With your help, we can have even more U.S. citizens learning Spanish, and that will increase our trade and business ties.

Fifth, we are working to help small and medium-sized enterprises decrease the amount of water, energy, and raw materials they need to protect natural resources, shrink carbon emissions, and save costs.

Sixth and finally, the United States is committed to working with our Pathways partners to modernize laws that govern lending so that small and medium size businesses can use assets other than real estate as collateral for loans. I visited the display that Honduras has, and they showed me the kind of equipment that can now serve as collateral in Honduras because Honduras has changed their laws: sewing machines, tool boxes, farm equipment.

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the source of employment for many of our citizens. We must give them the chance to borrow larger amounts at lower interest rates with longer repayment periods if we’re going to make it easier for these enterprises to thrive. And I commend Honduras for the model programs that they are implementing.

Let me say a word about the importance of job creation in Haiti. One of the great stories about this horrible tragedy in Haiti is that before the earthquake, working with the Government of Haiti, many of the countries around the table were committed to long-term development projects. Shortly before the earthquake, my husband, who works with the secretary general of the United Nations, brought over 500 business leaders from across our hemisphere to Haiti to sign contracts, to open factories, expand businesses, to develop tourism.

Last spring, I visited a garment factory in Haiti that was a powerful engine for local economic growth. At that time, apparel exports made up approximately 90 percent of all exports from Haiti and supported 28,000 jobs. We expected that to grow many times over. Since the earthquake, many of Haiti’s factories are coming back online. Many others, however, are still closed, and their workers out of work. Getting Haiti’s industry moving again will help the immediate recovery effort and stimulate future growth.

The United States has a trade preference program called Haiti HOPE, H-O-P-E, which extends our most favorable tariffs and terms on Haitian exports of textiles and apparel. Our Congress is considering bills that may help Haitian producers even more. Other countries have also taken such steps. Canada, for example, has an excellent program that allows Haitian products to enter tariff-free.

I am sure that many of you heard about the moving conversation yesterday between women entrepreneurs in Haiti and elsewhere in the region. This one conversation reflects the deep sense of solidarity that people across the hemisphere feel for the people of Haiti. I encourage members of Pathways to channel that solidarity into new economic opportunities for the Haitian people, particularly with new market opportunities in your countries. And together, we can help Haiti recover better and build back even stronger.

Now, we won’t reach the goals, the very ambitious goals that we have set, but we will make progress through persistent experimentation and collaboration. We must identify those programs and policies that are really working and move away from those that are not. And I hope all of us will establish concrete plans of action with accountability measures that really look hard at how well we are doing and demand results from these programs. And we should increase our collaboration through other partnerships as well – the Inter-American Social Protection Network launched last year in the United Nations General Assembly. And the United States is looking forward to working with all of you on innovative ways to reduce social inequalities and improve the work of public institutions.

I was reminded again that wherever we live in the Americas, whatever our heritage, whatever language we speak, we all want the same thing: the chance to live safe and healthy lives; to see our families productive and moving toward a better future; to participate fully in our communities; and to do all that we can to extend those opportunities to others. I think we are building on a strong foundation, and I am very pleased to participate once again in this ministerial. And I look forward to working with all of you in the days, months, and years ahead. Thank you very much. (Applause.)

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Remarks at the Pathways to Prosperity Women Entrepreneurs Conference


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
October 9, 2009

Date: 10/09/2009 Description: Secretary Clinton attends the Pathways to Prosperity Women Entrepreneurs Conference, co-hosted by the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs and the Secretary's Office of Global Women's Issues.  © State Dept ImageSECRETARY CLINTON: (In progress.) – this conference for women entrepreneurs, to bring you all together and not only to have you meet one another, but also to meet people here in the State Department, because we want to promote more social inclusion, justice, and shared prosperity. So we have, I believe, more than 80 women from 14 countries in our hemisphere. And I am very honored and proud to see all of you. I want to thank everyone who is on our team in the State Department for the hard work making this happen. And I want to thank our envoys, the four of them, raising their hands indeed. (Applause.)
Part of what we are trying to do here in the State Department with all of you is to make the case that empowering women is a key to progress and prosperity and peace. Bringing together the mentors and the entrepreneurs is one way of creating even more support for all of you in business to be able to spread the benefits of women taking leadership roles. I’ve heard about some of the work that you are doing in your own lives, and I am very touched by the courage and the commitment that so many of you have already shown.
Date: 10/09/2009 Description: Secretary Clinton attends the Pathways to Prosperity Women Entrepreneurs Conference, co-hosted by the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs and the Secretary's Office of Global Women's Issues.  © State Dept ImageI really believe that we need women’s voices to become more prominent in all of the debates throughout the world. We are not all the same with all of the same dreams and experiences, but I do believe that we have a shared vision of what our world should be. And I am very committed to working throughout our hemisphere to create better understanding and closer cooperation.
So I look forward to hearing even more stories from all of you and about you. And we stand ready to provide this Pathway to Prosperity. I think it is a great start from all that I have heard about this conference, and I can’t wait to see what more we can do together. So leave here knowing that you have not only friends, but partners in creating a better future, and think of ways that each of us can reach out to others who can benefit from our own mentoring and our own support.
What can I say except you are a sight that I absolutely love seeing? (Applause.)


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New Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Op-Ed originally published in The Miami Herald
June 1, 2009

The inauguration of a new President in El Salvador today is a testament to the strength and durability of democracy throughout the Americas. Since Mauricio Funes’ election earlier this year, we have witnessed a peaceful transfer of power between two formerly warring parties. Elsewhere in the Western Hemisphere, democratic elections and free market economies have become the norm over the past 15 years. These developments speak to the dynamism of our region and its potential to assert greater global leadership in the 21st century.
Yet as we celebrate this progress, we should also acknowledge what President Obama has called “a critical moment for the people of the Americas.” To tap into the full potential of people throughout our region, we now seek to build on gains at the ballot box and ensure that democracy and open markets deliver – bringing greater opportunities and material benefits to people at all levels of society.
The urgency of this task is made more so by the global economic recession. In our region, the income gap continues to widen; too few girls and boys finish their educations; women, rural farmers, Afro-descendants and indigenous people remain trapped on the bottom rung of the economic and social ladder with too few opportunities to move up.
Today in El Salvador, I am joining other leaders from around the world in celebrating the historic inauguration of President-elect Funes and the promise of democracy to transform people’s lives. I have also joined ministers from more than a dozen countries in the Western Hemisphere to make good on the President’s and my commitment to re-launch Pathways to Prosperity, a multilateral initiative to promote shared prosperity throughout the Americas. The President and I hope to harness and expand this initiative to spread the benefits of economic recovery, growth, and open markets to reach the most vulnerable and marginalized in societies across the region.
This is a matter of shared responsibility. The nations of our region are connected by geography, history, culture, politics, and economics. And while that interconnectedness has produced greater prosperity for some of us – including the United States — we are keenly aware that our Hemisphere’s economic progress will stall if the poor get poorer and the middle-class shrinks, or if historically disenfranchised groups remain isolated from national, regional and hemispheric markets. To paraphrase an old saying: When the tide rises, it should lift all boats.
Every nation in our Hemisphere shares responsibility for assuring this progress – and for moving beyond rhetoric to results.
Together, we can provide opportunities for education and training that people need to compete and control their own economic destinies. That is true in the United States; it is true throughout the Americas. Foreign language training is an especially powerful tool that opens doors and ties people together across borders and markets.
We can work together to provide access to credit and streamline regulations to help entrepreneurs launch and expand small businesses. Training and supporting new business leaders, including women and minority entrepreneurs, will spur wider growth and create new jobs.
We can forge new partnerships that bring together governments, businesses, sub-regional institutions, diaspora communities, and other stakeholders to harness untapped resources and talent.
And we can make investments in clean energy that offer the prospect of new jobs and new opportunities throughout the region, just as they do at home.
Trade that is free and fair and coupled with greater inclusion benefits us all.
The United States is committed to being a full and equal partner in the Americas. At the same time, we recognize that a “one size fits all” approach does not match the realities of these times or the world in which we live. And we recognize that we won’t always agree on every issue. But differences of opinion and perspective are no excuse for failing to strengthen our partnerships in areas of common concern so that we can build a future of shared prosperity and progress. So let’s join together and get to work.

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Intervention at Pathways to Prosperity Ministerial


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
San Salvador, El Salvador
May 31, 2009


Date: 05/31/2009 Description: Secretary Clinton listens to one of the participants of the Second Pathways to Prosperity Ministerial Meeting held in San Salvador on May 31. Diplomats from more than a dozen countries of the Western Hemisphere met to discuss mechanisms for strengthening trade and investment, cooperation, and business facilitation in the region.  © Photo by Salomon Vasquez, U.S. Embassy San Salvador

Thank you. I am delighted to be with you today and I feel privileged to be in El Salvador at this historic moment for the Salvadoran people. The transfer of power that we will witness tomorrow exemplifies the progress that has occurred throughout our hemisphere during the past two decades. This gathering – which is being co-hosted by two parties who were once at war – is hard evidence of the strength and durability of democracy and the promise it holds not only for this country, but for our region.The United States is grateful for the productive relationship we have had with El Salvador during President Saca’s time in office, and we are looking forward to similarly strong cooperation and friendship with the government of President-elect Funes.

In El Salvador and throughout the region, we are focused not on old battles but on new partnerships that improve lives, advance democratic principles, and promote the common good – and we seek to work in a spirit of mutual respect with those who share our goal to make the Americas more peaceful and more prosperous.

President Obama has emphasized that it’s not important whether ideas come from one party or another, so long as they move us in the right direction. This meeting builds on the work of the previous U.S. administration, but the President and I are also committed to re-launching Pathways to Prosperity, and expanding its work to spread the benefits of economic recovery, growth, and open markets to the most vulnerable and marginalized citizens of our region.

To achieve the shared prosperity we seek, we must integrate our commitment to democracy and open markets with an equal commitment to social inclusion.

Rather than defining economic progress simply by profit margins and GDP, our yardstick must be the quality of human lives, whether families have enough food on the table; whether young people have access to schooling from early childhood through university; whether workers earn decent wages and have safe conditions at their jobs; whether mothers and fathers have access to medical care for themselves and their children so that children dying before adulthood is a rarity, not an accepted fact; and whether every person who works hard and takes responsibility has the promise of a brighter future.

The global financial crisis has reinforced how closely our economies are linked – if there was any doubt before, there should be none now. We know that commerce between our nations is and will be a crucial part of our economic recovery. And that trade should be an integral part of our national development strategies. Achieving the type of broad-based prosperity that citizens of the Americas deserve and demand will require us to harness the talents of all our citizens.

Pathways to Prosperity can and will help spread the benefits of economic engagement and trade to women, rural farmers and small businesses, Afro-descendents, indigenous communities, and others too often left on the sidelines of progress.

To succeed, we must:

  • Set concrete goals;
  • Broaden the scope and the impact of our efforts; and
  • Develop a plan with mile markers that will allow us to assess our progress.

The 14 Pathways countries represent 34 percent of the world’s GDP – we know how to get things done. Our work within this partnership should focus on achieving tangible results. We all need to be in what I call the solutions business.

We already have examples of cooperation on trade and development producing real progress for our citizens. In Honduras, the Food for Progress program found new markets for the potatoes grown by 1,400 small farmers.

As a result, the farmers’ sales doubled, and they increased their average annual income from less than $800 to $2,100. In Peru, the Micro and Small Enterprise Facilitation Program has helped more than 80 municipalities implement new regulations for business creation. They’ve cut business registration time by 80% and reduced costs by more than half. In Chile, collaborative work to satisfy trade and sanitary regulations allowed small farmers to take advantage of the season difference between the northern and southern hemispheres, and secure new markets for strawberries and other summer crops in the U.S. and Canada. We’ve also seen successful efforts to protect labor rights. And our newest trade initiatives, like Peru’s Free Trade Agreement with the United States, have been designed to encourage good environmental stewardship.

The farmers, small businesses, and workers that benefit from these programs know the difference between rhetoric and results. We need to build on these successes, and ensure that all citizens of our hemisphere can share in the benefits of economic engagement and social equity.

For Pathways, this will mean expanding beyond our current focus and our current membership. We should work to promote educational exchanges and language training programs to harness the power of underprivileged youth and lay the foundation for regional cooperation among future generations. We should provide technical assistance to rural businesses and others who lack easy access to global markets. I hope we will supply women entrepreneurs with mentors, training, and other tools for success, as the United States is planning to do through its Pathways Envoys program. We can expand the availability of microcredit loans.

And Pathways should be open to working with new partners including other nations and sub-regional banks that share our commitment to open markets and greater social inclusion. I want to note the presence of the observer countries – Brazil and Trinidad and Tobago – that are here today. Going forward, I hope you and other countries from our hemisphere will join us in this initiative as full members.

The Americas are becoming more connected and more dynamic. As this trend continues, our region will need to provide greater leadership on a broad array of global issues. Pathways is one example of the kind of multilateral partnership that can help address the complex challenges of the 21st century.

Today, in El Salvador, let us look back and acknowledge the progress we have made in building democracy and peace throughout our region. But let us also embark together down a new path defined by shared responsibilities, shared opportunities, and a commitment improve the life of every citizen in the Americas. We are part of the same family, this continent is our common home, and we will inhabit a common future. Let us do all we can to harness the untapped human potential that covers this vast hemisphere.


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