Economic Statecraft at Work: Promoting Corporate Social Responsibility in Zimbabwe

U.S. Ambassador Wharton and Bulawayo Mayor Thabani Moyo, center, pose for a photograph with participants at a corporate social responsibility conference in Matabeleland, Zimbabwe, in December 2012. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Jean Phillipson serves as Political and Economic Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Shortly after arriving in Zimbabwe, I became involved in the world of corporate social responsibility (CSR). U.S. Embassy Harare’s Public Affairs Section partnered with the Regional Center for Social Responsibility (RCSR) to launch a comprehensive CSR outreach campaign supported by the State Department’s Fund for Economic Innovation in Public Diplomacy. As a Political and Economic Officer, I was grateful to have the opportunity to engage on a critical business issue and participate in this ground-breaking Zimbabwean initiative.

I learned quickly that many Zimbabwean companies do not traditionally engage in areas of public welfare. Neither business schools nor companies provide CSR training; companies that designate CSR responsibilities to employees view them as an extension of marketing. Most do not interact with public officials to outline shortfalls the private sector… more »

Travel Diary: Secretary Clinton in Singapore
More: Trip Page | Interactive Travel Map Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled to Singapore on November 16-17 to meet with senior government officials, including Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Foreign Minister Kasiviswanathan Shanmugam, on a wide range of issues. Secretary Clinton delivered remarks on “Delivering on the Promise of Economic Statecraft” at Singapore Management University on November 17. Secretary Clinton said, “It has been three years since I was last here with President Obama, when we came for our first APEC meeting. And that trip helped launch what has been… more »

Travel Diary: Secretary Clinton in Singapore

More: Trip Page | Interactive Travel Map

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled to Singapore on November 16-17 to meet with senior government officials, including Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Foreign Minister Kasiviswanathan Shanmugam, on a wide range of issues.

Secretary Clinton delivered remarks on “Delivering on the Promise of Economic Statecraft” at Singapore Management University on November 17. Secretary Clinton said, “It has been three years since I was last here with President Obama, when we came for our first APEC meeting. And that trip helped launch what has been… more »

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivers remarks on “Delivering on the Promise of Economic Statecraft” at Singapore Management University in Singapore, November 17, 2012. [Go to http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2012/11/200664.htm for a text transcript.]

Delivering on the Promise of Economic Statecraft

Remarks
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Singapore Management University
Singapore
November 17, 2012


SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, thank you very much. Thank you, President De Meyer, for welcoming all of us here to SMU. Thank you, Ambassador Adelman, for your exemplary service here in Singapore, strengthening and deepening the already very strong relationship between our two countries. Thank you also for the Minister of State and the Minister for Education and the Speaker of the Parliament for being here with us. And thanks to the American Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. ASEAN business council for helping to cosponsor this event.

It has been three years since I was last here with President Obama, when we came for our first APEC meeting. And that trip helped launch what has been called our pivot to the Asia Pacific. As Secretary of State, I have visited the region many times. And I was just in Australia with Secretary of Defense Panetta for our annual AUSMIN consultations with our Australian counterparts. Tomorrow I will join President Obama in Thailand. And then we will go together to Burma and on to Cambodia for the East Asia Summit.

Now, I think one of the questions that may be on your and others’ minds is: “Why is the American President spending all this time in Asia so soon after winning re-election?” Well, the answer for us is very simple. Because so much of the history of the 21st century will be, is being, written in this region. America’s expanded engagement represents our commitment to help shape that shared future. The strategic and security dimensions of our efforts are well known. But the untold story that is just as important is our economic engagement. Because it is clear that not only in the Asia Pacific but across the world, increasingly, economics are shaping the strategic landscape. Emerging powers are putting economics at the center of their foreign policies, and they are gaining clout less because of their size of their armies than because of the growth of their GDP.

For the first time in modern history, nations are becoming major global powers without also becoming global military powers. So, to maintain our strategic leadership in the region, the United States is also strengthening our economic leadership. And we know very well that America’s economic strength at home and our leadership around the world are a package deal. Each reinforces and requires the other.

I must say this is a lesson that Singapore learned long ago. Today the non-stop flow of people, goods, and capital through this small nation is proof that a country does not need to be big to be mighty, to be respected, to be a real leader. Every country wants to do business in Singapore, so every country has a stake in cultivating good relationships with Singapore. With only 1/60 of the population of the United States, Singapore is our 15th largest trading partner. More than 2,000 American companies base their regional headquarters here. Two-way trade exceeded $50 billion for the first time last year. And U.S. direct investment surpassed $116 billion over the last decade. That makes Singapore’s security and stability a vital interest for the United States. This connection between economic power and global influence explains why the United States is placing economics at the heart of our own foreign policy. I call it economic statecraft.

Now, these ideas are hardly new. After all, it was Harry Truman who said our relations, foreign and economic, are indivisible. But today that carries renewed urgency. Last year I laid out America’s economic statecraft agenda in a series of speeches in Washington, Hong Kong, San Francisco, and New York. Since then, we have turned this vision into action in four key areas: first, updating our foreign policy priorities to take economics more into account; second, turning to economic solutions for strategic challenges; third, stepping up commercial diplomacy — what I like to call jobs diplomacy — to boost U.S. exports, open new markets, and level the playing field for our businesses; and fourth, building the diplomatic capacity to execute this ambitious agenda. MORE.

Public Diplomacy Leverages Innovation To Promote Economic Growth

Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Tara Sonenshine prepares for her swearing-in ceremony with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on April 24, 2012. [State Department photo by Ben Chang/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Tara D. Sonenshine serves as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.

As we advance deeper into the 21st century, emerging countries are seeking to leverage their economic strengths as foundations for political and diplomatic leadership across the world. At the same time, from challenges facing the eurozone to those in the post-Arab Spring regions of the Middle East and North Africa, global markets and economic forces are driving an ever-larger share of our foreign policy realities.

The best way for America to remain central to the world’s diplomatic leadership is to put a premium on advancing our economic statecraft, so that our foreign policy reflects the growing power of economic forces, and contributes to growth abroad and here at home.

As Secretary Clinton has said, our global challenges see no divisions between global economics and international diplomacy. Neither should our solutions. That’s why the Department of State… more »

Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Johnnie Carson testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations African Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Statecraft: Embracing Africa’s Market Potential in Washington, D.C. on June 28, 2012. [Go to http://video.state.gov for more video and text transcript.]

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivers remarks to the National Confederation of Industries in Brasilia, Brazil, April 16, 2012.

Op-Ed: ‘Using Diplomacy To Create Jobs’

A cargo ship sails through the Panama Canal in Panama City, March 3, 2009. [AP File]

Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides authored an opinion piece that appears on Politico.com. The text of his piece also follows below:

"Today’s headlines are filled with conflict — from uprisings in Syria to last week’s bomb blasts in New Delhi and Bangkok. So it’s only natural that, when most people think of diplomacy, they think of negotiations on matters of war and peace. But that’s only half the story. Our diplomats and development experts are out there protecting America’s national security, including our economic strength — a dual mandate of peace and prosperity.

"Here’s why we, as diplomats, care about economics: We live in an era when the size of a country’s economy is every bit as important to exercising… more »

Advancing U.S. Economic Statecraft in 2012
Shipping containers line the Port of Long Beach, awaiting export in Long Beach, California, in January 2011. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: Jose Fernandez serves as Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs.

This time last year, I made three, broad resolutions for 2011: to continue promoting U.S. job creation; to seek and build overseas economic alliances; and to protect U.S. businesses and their interests. Beyond these three, I also resolved to exploit every opportunity to foster prosperity at home and abroad. It is clear to me that my bureau’s hard work and resilient efforts paid off during 2011. In the wake of the Arab Awakening, we took quick steps to foster economic recovery in the region, including through promotion of entrepreneurship and U.S.-Middle East business relationships. This fall, we seized long-standing opportunities for expanding economic growth by finalizing trade agreements with Colombia, South Korea,… more »