How Miss Minnesota USA Promoted U.S. Business and Instilled Good Will in Laos
About the Author: Paul Mayer serves as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Vientiane, Laos.
American diplomats meet interesting people every day. It’s one of the things that make our careers so exciting. I’ve met presidents, Olympic gold medalists, and civic activists. In Montreal, Stevie Wonder told me I was cool. And, in Vientiane, I met a beauty pageant winner who helped American public diplomacy efforts in Laos.
This past January, as part of an economic diplomacy initiative, our embassy organized a campaign designed to deepen U.S.-Lao business ties and promote the newly-established Lao chapter of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham). The economy of Laos has emerged as an attractive investment opportunity for American businesses. A number of U.S. companies have already entered the Lao market, but unfortunately operate under structural and cultural disadvantages compared with companies from the region.
We, however, have an unexpected advocate… more »
Entrepreneurship: Empowering Women and Girls Through International Exchanges
About the Author: Ann Stock serves as Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs.
The U.S. Department of State’s Office of International Visitors, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs is conducting a three-week Multi-Regional Project (MRP) entitled “Women and Entrepreneurship” for a dynamic group of 19 women entrepreneurs and small business owners from around the world. Administered by Phelps Stokes, the group is exploring the contributions of women to the development of the U.S. economy and ways the participation of women in the global economy.
After a week in Washington, DC where the group met with federal government agencies as well as private businesses and women’s business organizations, the group divided into three teams to visit either Minneapolis, Minnesota; Albany, New York; or Cincinnati, Ohio. Each team explored global business partnerships… more »