US Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that the biggest reason an investment summit, dubbed "SelectUSA 2013," was going to succeed was due to group of capable business leaders gathered here eager to work in that marketplace.
In a speech, Kerry stressed that the "single biggest" reason why "SelectUSA" is going to make a difference is "all of you, a group of very capable business leaders," people who are "hungry," "ambitious" and understand the "dynamics" of the marketplace.
Kerry said "make no mistake, as we look ahead to the major trends that are going to define this new age, the factors that will determine which countries thrive as well as which businesses thrive in this competitive marketplace, I think it's crystal clear that the United States is going to continue because it's the nature and base of our economy.
"We will continue to lead the world in both innovation and education because of the nature of our universities, the structure, the number and the openness with which they operate," he added.
He indicated that the US is already the world's largest recipient of direct foreign investment, with about 5.6 million total "good-paying" American jobs, contributing close to a trillion dollars to the economy that comes from the foreign direct investment.
"No investment is about the past. It's about the future. So we're going to refuse to sit still.
"The world as we all know is getting more competitive. But so are we. Capital chases confidence.
"And I'm confident that we're going to continue to get stronger and be more effective," he remarked.
The US top diplomat noted that "in order to open more doors and in order to continue the best investment climate in the world, we're going to continue to add to our strong portfolio of trade agreements that reaffirm our commitment to open and free markets, and to a level playing field." He shed light on the revolutionary events in the Middle East and some other parts of the world, saying they are a reflection that "globalization means that people everywhere now have higher expectations." He stressed that "no leader anywhere in the world can afford to look away from huge populations of young people coming at us in unprecedented numbers, all of them in touch with their aspirations.
It's a different world. It's going to change politics as well as business." Kerry noted that "what we're going to try to accomplish with two enormous and very high-standard trade negotiations that we're underway right now is to raise the standards and raise the possibilities for people." He pointed out to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which will "integrate a region, represents 40 percent of global trade. And if we can lock that in, it will raise the standards around the world." "When you link that to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which will bring Europe you will have, in fact, it's the largest market in the world that will join with the largest individual economy in the world, and that will create an enormous transformation in the standards that people are practicing by," he affirmed.
He noted that "those efforts will dramatically expand our market reach, and they will strengthen rules-based trading so that we engage in a race to the top, not a race to the bottom." He stressed that "today we need entrepreneurship more than ever." According to Kerry, as more young people ajoin the labor market, the world is going to need about "half a billion new jobs by 2030.
And many of those jobs, I guarantee you, have not even been invented yet. Entrepreneurship will help to solve that puzzle, and SelectUSA can help." Last Thursday, the two-day Summit kicked-off with the participation of over 1,200 attendees from nearly 58 countries around the world.
The US Department of Commerce is leading the two-day conference, which is connecting investors, both foreign and domestic, with US economic development organizations in "an effort to promote investment and job creation in the US, and to educate foreign companies on the United States' open investment policy." US President Barack Obama launched SelectUSA in 2011 as the first-ever US government-wide initiative to promote and facilitate investment in the United States as an engine for job growth and economic development.
SelectUSA seeks to highlight the many advantages the United States offers as a location for business and investment