Bradley A. Freden
Interim Permanent Representative of the United States
Americas Competitiveness Exchange
February 26, 2021
Good morning everyone. I am delighted to be here today with OAS Director of Economic Development, Dr. Maryse Robert, to welcome you to the first virtual ACE Meet-Up. A special event we hope will become a regular exchange for the OAS, under the umbrella of the Americas Competitiveness Forum (ACF).
It is a priority of the U.S. Government to work with our partners in the region to build a safer, stronger, prosperous, and more resilient Western Hemisphere.
The United States recognizes that we are facing big challenges as we confront the COVID 19 pandemic, and we also believe that continuing to promote inclusive and competitive economies should continue to be a crucial priority for all of us.
Efforts to continue to strengthen and increase growth of the private sector in the region will help increase economic benefits and partnerships with investment-friendly markets, and such partnerships will help our countries recover from the devastating effects of the pandemic.
The U.S. Department of State, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce, particularly the U.S. Economic Development Administration continue to support ACE because we believe that an innovative and connected private sector is a fundamental component to promoting competitive and inclusive economies in the Americas.
The Government of the United States sees the ACE program as a catalyst to rebuilding and stabilizing economic links in the hemisphere. We are in the final stages of securing funding to continue to support ACE for the next five years.
Starting with ACE Colorado, the ACE Committee made up of members of the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the OAS, has upgraded the ACE program to include economic development with a strong focus on economic resiliency. It is this upgraded ACE platform that will be used to increase trade and interaction among all our economies. ACE is now considered the “premier economic development, innovation, and entrepreneurial network of the Americas.”
This ACE Meet-up is an excellent space to share good practices on economic development, innovation, and entrepreneurship; help with recovery efforts, promote resiliency and identify new partnership opportunities.
Let’s work together today to continue the collaboration among the innovative ACE community, to help accelerate efforts on the economic front so that our private sectors can support this difficult task of economic recovery.
Let’s work together today to identify and scale up opportunities to address the common challenges COVID 19 has imposed on all of our economies.
We must work together to solve the problems we collectively face in order to strengthen our hemisphere because if we are all strong and resilient, we all succeed.
As you participate in the event today, I’d recommend that you articulate how you can use ACE to help advance your work. We are looking forward to a fruitful dialogue and collaborating with you to help forge partnerships during today’s exchange to continue to contribute to the economies and resilience of our countries and the entire region.
Thank you very much.