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Rediff.com  » Business » Clinton tells US diplomats to turn CEOs

Clinton tells US diplomats to turn CEOs

February 22, 2012 14:16 IST

Pointing out that emerging powers like India and China were putting economy at the spearhead of their foreign policy, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has asked American diplomats to don the mantle of a company CEO to push for "job diplomacy".

Saying that such an outlook was a must as Washington looked to boost exports and bring back jobs, Clinton said US diplomats now have to play that role to keep America's global leadership.

"Rising powers like China, India, and Brazil understand this as well, and we can't sit on the sidelines while they put economics at the center of their foreign policies," she said.

"I have made Job Diplomacy a priority mission at the State Department, with a clear goal: Just as our companies are ready to out-work, out-innovate, and out-compete their rivals, so we intend to be the most effective diplomatic champions for prosperity and growth," Clinton said in a keynote address at the Global Business Conference hosted by her.

"We're changing the way we do business to better advance and support the way you do business. We need to see the world like you do, crisscrossed not just by national borders but by global supply chains," she said.

"So we are improving training for diplomats in economics, finance and markets, and working more closely with colleagues across our government to leverage the best possible skills and resources. I've directed all our senior diplomats to conduct business outreach and advocacy when they travel overseas," she said.

Clinton said she would meet business leaders on every foreign trip and named former investment banker Heidi Rediker to a new position of State Department chief economist.

"We are pursuing three lines of action to do just that: first, promoting US businesses; second, attracting investment back to the United States; and third, leveling the playing field for fair competition," she said.

"Let's start with how we advocate for US companies trying to win contracts and make sales. Let me start by saying this is not about picking winners and losers. It's about helping all American companies put the best foot forward overseas to get a fair shot in every market," she said.

Noting that America's economic strength and its global leadership are a package deal, she said the US is not going to have one without the other.

"Our power in the 21st century depends not just on the size of our military but also on what we grow, how well we innovate, what we make, and how effectively we sell," she said.

"We fundamentally believe that increasing trade and growing prosperity will benefit not just our own people, but people everywhere. Our economies are interdependent as never before, and so are our fates. America's economic renewal depends to a large degree on the strength of the global economy, and the global economy depends on the strength of America," Clinton said.

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Latika K Jha in Washington
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