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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Preview of the OECD Paris Ministerial and OECD's 50th Anniversary Week Celebrations

Robert D. Hormats
   Under Secretary for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs 
Richard A. Boucher

Washington, DC
May 17, 2011

12:50 P.M. EDT

MODERATOR: Okay. Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to the Washington Foreign Press Center. Thank you so much for being flexible with your schedule, and it’s great to see everyone here this afternoon for what promises to be a very interesting briefing on the OECD Ministerial taking place later this month.

This is an on-the-record briefing. We’re going to start with some opening remarks from our principals and then we are going to have a question-and-answer session. Please don’t forget to turn off any cell phones. And when we get to the Q&A session, please wait for the microphone to come, and then introduce yourself and your media organization.

We are very fortunate to have with us today Under Secretary Hormats of the U.S. State Department and Ambassador Boucher from the OECD. So, without any further ado, let me turn the podium over to Under Secretary Hormats.

UNDER SECRETARY HORMATS: Well, thank you very much. First of all, I apologize for being late. We had a meeting between President Obama and the King of Jordan and it lasted, as good meetings frequently do, a little longer than I had anticipated, but it was a very, very productive meeting. They’ve both issued press statements and had a press – a little press conference in the Oval Office, so you’ll be hearing a little bit more, so I won’t go into that.

But I want to first of all thank the Foreign Press Center for doing this, and second, to say that it’s a real pleasure to be with Ambassador Boucher. Many of you may know him from his prior appearances at this podium and around the world in his distinguished career as a U.S. diplomat. Today, we’re also proud that he serves as the most senior-ranking American at the OECD, and I’m delighted to be here with him. And I’m really very pleased that so many of you were so kind as to change your schedules to be able to participate in this press conference.

We’re here to discuss the importance of the OECD, and particularly its importance to the United States but also to the evolving role of the transatlantic relationship, and also to talk about the broader role that the OECD is playing in the changing global environment in which we are all living today. To underscore the U.S. commitment to the OECD, next week, Secretary of State Clinton will chair the OECD Ministerial Meeting on the occasion of the OECD’s 50th anniversary, which is really quite a milestone. As many of you may know, the OECD was really the outgrowth of the Marshall Plan and charged with carrying out the mission that was initially instituted by the plan to foster economic development in Europe and was established in 1961 in order to do that. It was the follow-up to a very productive Marshall Plan, which was, as we all know, quite successful.

The concept of a Europe that was whole, free, economically secure, and at peace was not a foregone conclusion at the time the OECD was established. It took visionary leadership by the United States and by our European partners to implement this vision, and this anniversary Ministerial will celebrate the success of that vision and the many, many people who contributed to it over the last 50 years.

The Ministerial will also mark the OECD’s development as a worldwide network of 34 member-countries. The success of the OECD has encouraged countries that were not the initial founders but who shared the principles of democracy and open markets to seek membership over the years. And these include, most recently, four countries that joined last year, which were Chile, Estonia, Israel, and Slovenia. Russia is also working toward future accession to the OECD.

The organization has a special relationship, due in large measure to the very, very effective work of Ambassador Boucher, with a number of emerging countries such as Brazil, Chile – I mean, China – India, Indonesia, and South Africa as well. And Ambassador Boucher and the Secretary General of the OECD Angel Gurria, who himself is from Mexico and was foreign minister and finance minister of Mexico, has really given this institution an enormous amount of leadership and credibility, not just in the industrialized world but among emerging economies as well.

The OECD works to advance prosperity and economic development among its members and throughout the global economy. As General Marshall knew well when he established the Marshall Plan, economic development is directly connected to promoting peace and stability in the world; and he saw the two as very much interrelated, and I think we see the world the same way today.

As the OECD looks forward toward its next 50 years, we hope that sharing the best practices and international standards of the highest order will reach beyond OECD members and extend to our emerging partners and many other countries as well. We’re working with these countries to adopt high standards and best practices from the OECD and developed within the OECD and help lay the foundation for global economic growth and development in many parts of the world.

In addition, the OECD plays an important role in supporting a number of other groups, including the Group of 8 and the Group of 20, which frequently ask the OECD to do some work to help in their deliberations because of the very high quality of the work that the OECD does, the high quality of its people, the high quality of its data, the high quality of the work it does, and therefore it’s a resource not just for a few countries, but really for the Group of 20 and many other countries as well.

The OECD has done great work to help remove fossil fuel subsidies, promote tax transparency, encourage trade and investment, combat corruption through the Anti-Bribery Convention, which many countries are now adhering to and Russia is about to subscribe to, and support the G-20 Labor and Employment Ministerial, which is another very big element of the OECD’s program.

Let me just emphasize for a moment the U.S. commitment to the OECD. America’s commitment is one that has endured and remains strong for the whole 50 years of the existence of the OECD. The United States is the largest financial supporter of the OECD. We contribute nearly $100 million per year. We’re very proud of the work that Americans in government, business, and labor have done in contributing to the OECD’s mission through our participation in its bodies, research, and projects. And that’s one of the points I want to emphasize: It’s not just government officials who play a role; it’s people from academia and – very importantly – people from the business community and the labor community who play very active roles in the process.

Let me just briefly touch on the Ministerial meetings. As I say, Secretary Clinton is going to be going there and playing a very active role. Our commitment to the organization is evident by the very fact that she is going and that she is going to play a key role in this anniversary Ministerial meeting. She’ll be leading the U.S. delegation there. The delegation will also include a number of other senior American officials, including Ron Kirk, the USTR; Austan Goolsbee, who is the chair of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors; Raj Shah, who is the administrator of USAID; and there’ll be a number of others included in her entourage.

We also understand from the OECD that about 60 to 70 ministers will be present along with 15 heads of state. French President Sarkozy, German Chancellor Merkel, Japanese Prime Minister Kan are among those who are participating.

The main themes for the Ministerial are growth in jobs, a new paradigm for development, and the OECD at 50. The centerpiece of the Secretary of State’s participation in the Ministerial will be her discussion of new paradigms for development, which she will lay out in some detail. The United States has elevated the pillar of development in our foreign policy as a very key element of that foreign policy. We see this issue as an important component of any international dialogue.’

We will also expand the discussion from aid effectiveness to development effectiveness, and we’ll announce a new vision that calls for greater multilateral, including OECD, partnership with developing countries to put into place the best practices for achieving sustained development.

The OECD is also doing this in a number of areas such as investment, tax administration, and governance. As I mentioned, the chair of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors Austan Goolsbee will be there and he’ll lead a session on growth, jobs, innovation, and skills, to explore new sources of economic development. And Ron Kirk, our USTR, will lead a session on trade and jobs.

We’re also going to use this Ministerial to help chart a course for the future of the OECD. The OECD will need to adapt to meet the challenges of the 21st century, which means partnering with the rising economies of the world, which include Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, South Africa, and a number of others. And Ambassador Boucher has been playing a very active role in that process and really taken a very dynamic leadership role.

This also means working more closely with the developing world to share the best practices and the highest international standards that are crucial for development and for prosperity. As it does this, the U.S. also – the OECD also must maintain and strengthen the standards and methods that are its core values.

The benefits of the OECD to the United States, I think, are useful to touch on at this moment, and I will begin to close on this point. As we encourage other countries to work more closely with the OECD, one of our strongest arguments is to explain to Americans why the OECD is important to the United States. The OECD’s role has always been to share best practices and to establish and raise international standards.

Our ambassador to the OECD, Ambassador Kornbluh, calls this creating a race to the top. For U.S. businesses and for U.S. workers, the OECD has been instrumental in leveling the playing field in international markets, which supports U.S. exports and economic growth at home. The U.S. Treasury estimates that the OECD’s work on exports credit – export credits has saved U.S. taxpayers something on the order of $800 million per year. The OECD’s research on chemical safety and coordination of standards saves member-countries nearly $200 million per year.

Crucial to our businesses, the U.S. has also led the efforts within the OECD Working Group on Bribery to develop international standards against corrupt foreign public officials through the Anti-Bribery Convention that I mentioned a moment ago. The convention and the working group are essential mechanisms for fighting the insidious effects of corruption and to establishing a level playing field for our businesses in competing for investment around the world. As I mentioned, Russia has just passed anti-bribery legislation that will allow it to succeed to the Anti-Bribery Convention, which is a dramatic step forward and one for which Russia deserves a great deal of credit for the efforts it’s making and has made.

On tax policy, the OECD’s General Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information ensures that nations work together to stop major tax evasion and abuses that hurt U.S. competitiveness. To date, more than 600 bilateral agreements on the exchange of tax information have been signed.

In conclusion, the United States is proud to be a partner with the OECD as we celebrate this milestone anniversary. The OECD has been a critical partner in advancing prosperity through high standards and through best practices. We feel that in a changing global landscape, the OECD can continue to evolve to promote these same high standards in a way that will benefit global growth.

I want to congratulate again the OECD on 50 very impressive years. We look forward to working with the OECD, and I know Secretary Clinton and I certainly do look forward to the OECD Ministerial that is coming up next week. So thank you very much.

MODERATOR: Thank you, sir. Ambassador.

AMBASSADOR BOUCHER: Well, thank you. I think that’s more of an overview of the OECD Ministerial than I can do myself, and I really appreciate it coming from Under Secretary Hormats. He was my first boss in Washington, so I’ve always looked up to him, but I also look up to him as one of the leading international economists that we have in the U.S. Government. I think his analysis and understanding of what we can do and what we should be doing is vital to where we go next in the OECD as we go to our 50th.

The OECD is a place where countries come together to make better economic policy. We do this with better standards. We do this with better practices, best practices, with recommendations, and just policy options. Countries come, analyze different policy options, and go back and make their own decisions. So we underlie good economic policy making and hopefully make everybody’s policy better.

The theme that we have is for the Ministerial is “Better Policies for Better Lives.” And in the end, it’s the effect on our citizens and citizens around the world that we’re looking for. Our 50th anniversary becomes a chance to talk about new ideas, to work with new partners, and really to look at the next 50 years as much as the very credible and illustrious history that we’ve had over the last 50. And that’s why we’re so excited to have the United States in the chair at this Ministerial. Germany is co-chair and some 15 heads of state, 60-some ministers coming to celebrate the OECD but to talk about the future and how we contribute to better economic policy around the world.

If you take the 34 members, the accession country Russia, and the five major partners of China, India, Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia, you get 40 all totaled, and I think the Ministerial is one place where we always come together now as 40 countries to make – to look at the economic situation and look at various policy choices together.

Topics and themes, as you’ve heard from Under Secretary Hormats, development is big on the agenda. The United States has helped us revitalize the D in the OECD, the development agenda at the OECD, and look at it not just through the perspective of assistance but through the perspective of domestic resources, through the perspective of better policy, through the perspective of mobilizing developing country capabilities for their own development.

Jobs – jobs and skills strategies, what can we do to put together the right mix of skills for a new economy, that’s been a major project for the last year. That’ll come out for discussion at the Ministerial.

Trade issues – always a feature. Again, jobs and trade. You get the idea what’s underlying the minds of most of our members. New sources of growth is a key agenda item for everybody and particularly looking at green and growth and how you can be – how you can keep your economy growing but also grow greener as you grow, and that’s where we go.

And then I’d add the issue of gender, which is we’re going to have sort of an interim report on the economics of gender, how women can be empowered through education, entrepreneurship, and the economic activity.

So those are themes that run through the Ministerial and will be topics for discussion among the ministers and the experts that come there.

Specific things that will be concluded at the Ministerial, we’ll give you a full rundown when we get there next week. But as Under Secretary Hormats mentioned, the Russians have now passed an anti-bribery law. It went into effect, I think, yesterday. And so they’ll be joining the Anti-Bribery Working Group, which is a significant step forward. I have to add one point, which is when you join the working group on bribery at the OECD, you don’t say, well, that was great, now I can go to Disney World; you just get ready for your next stage review, which is on your implementation of the law; and then after that, you get ready for the third phase review, which is on enforcement, which is where we are with the United States and other members. We’ve just done those phase three reviews. So Russia will enter into that process of further review.

Second of all, there is an agreement on conflict minerals, due diligence on conflict minerals. This is a way of tracking minerals and making sure they come from proper sources. And this has been endorsed by the heads of state of the Great Lakes region of Africa. And so that will be concluded, I think, at the Ministerial.

We’re also working with South Africa on a debt center to support a center that South Africa’s putting together to help other African countries learn how to promote and float government debt. We’re supporting that. That’ll probably be concluded at the Ministerial.

And finally, we’ve gone through a yearlong negotiation with 42 countries in our guidelines for multinational enterprises. This is the sort of the basis of corporate responsibility around the world. It includes things like human rights, due diligence for your supply chains, and general corporate responsibility for taxes and anticorruption, things like that. It’s been updated now, 42 countries involved; civil society groups, business, trade unions, everybody coming together. And that should be ready for the Ministerial as well.

So I think we’re moving forward with new ideas in both a general way, but also a specific way we’re moving forward with new ideas and new partners. And again, the point is to level up, not to level down, so that we’re bringing people into better economic policy altogether around the world. So that’s where we are, and we look forward to a really serious and exciting Ministerial as well as a celebration of our 50th anniversary.

Thanks, and I think we’re prepared to take questions now.

MODERATOR: Yes, thank you, sir. Under Secretary Hormats, would you like to come up so you can share the podium? Let’s all please wait for the microphones to come around, and then quickly announce your name and media organization before asking your questions. We heard so much about Russia, why don’t we take our first question from Dmitry of TASS?

QUESTION: Dmitry Zlodorev with TASS. Thanks a lot, gentlemen, for coming over. And thanks a lot, guys at the FPC for arranging this. Ambassador Boucher, we still miss you tremendously.

I wanted to, obviously, ask you about Russia’s accession to the OECD, and maybe Secretary Hormats would also say a couple of words on that. How much work would you say is done percentagewise – is it, like, 50 percent, 90 percent? What’s the timeframe for Russia’s accession to the OECD?

AMBASSADOR BOUCHER: Those are good questions, and they’re such good questions that they don’t really have solid answers. But it’s good to see you again. (Laughter.)

Russia’s – this process of accession involves working with 22 different committees, working on environmental codes and standards, anti-bribery, financial issues, corporate governance issues, plus the sort of fundamentals of rule of law and economic implementation. We work very closely with the Russians. I was out there in February. Our secretary general was there in April, will be back again very soon.

And we’re in the process – it’s sort of like a dialogue between the committees and the Russian Government ministries involves, so that we hear what they’re doing in a particular area to modernize and reform. We say, well, how about this, how about that, here are some other suggestions. And then as it goes back and forth a couple times, and we’re in that intermediate phase now, where our committees are talking to the Russians about their plans.

And what we’ve said to Russian leaders at very high levels is this is not something that has a particular timetable to it, but it moves as fast as you want it to. It moves as fast as you want to modernize Russia. And as you take steps to modernize the Russian economy, we are going to respond and it’s going to ease your transition through these committees and through this whole process.

So how fast is it going? It’s going as fast as the Russians want it to. As hard as they work, we’re going to work as hard with them to see it to completion. When it will be finished? It’s hard to predict exactly.

UNDER SECRETARY HORMATS: I have nothing to add. That was a perfect answer.

MODERATOR: Okay. Next, our colleague from The Hindu.

QUESTION: Hi. Narayan Lakshman from The Hindu. I’m actually going to be at the Ministerial as a moderator for one of the sessions that the Under Secretary is participating in. And as foretaste, I just wanted to ask you about – you spoke extensively about partnerships with the BRIC countries, if you will. To what extent do you think, if at all, there’s any tension between having countries like China and India as the drivers or the engines of growth in this post-crisis global economy, and the need to not push them too hard to open up their economies or make fundamental structural changes which could increase their own vulnerability to future shocks?

UNDER SECRETARY HORMATS: That’s a very interesting question. In fact, I’m having, right after this, lunch with your ambassador. So, sort of an Indian – a Jordan/India day for me.

Anyway, the question you ask is a very thoughtful one. We cannot and should not go around lecturing countries on what they ought to do. Different countries – India and others – have their own internal dynamics and their own internal pressures. But I think what we can do in the OECD and other contexts is demonstrate several points. One of them is that while the success of an India or a China or Brazil is to a large degree the result of the reforms it’s taken internally, the energy of its people, the entrepreneurialism of its citizens and its businesses, it’s also the case that many of these countries do benefit from the global system, from access to the global system.

And therefore, the more they participate in the global system, the more it’s important that they play a role in ensuring the success of the global system. And the global system will only work if there are agreed norms and rules and practices. And therefore, as countries have a greater and greater stake in that system, they also have a greater and greater stake in participating in those norms and rules and practices that have been very successful in making the global system work for the last 50 or so years. So by, for instance, subscribing to the anti-bribery convention, over a period of time, it’s quite clear that the anti-bribery convention is a way of making sure that companies act in responsible ways, and it also enables those companies to be treated better internationally because they are government and the companies themselves have subscribed to these very high practices of dealing with issues such as bribery. So what Ambassador Boucher has pointed out is trying to raise the standards of countries who participate in the global system so the global system will work better for everyone, themselves included.

The other point, I think, that’s very important to bear in mind here is that in many cases as these countries evolve, they’re going to be encountering the same kind of challenges that countries that had evolved before them had encountered. And therefore, by sharing experiences, they can learn from what other countries have done, are doing, the challenges other countries face.

Let me give you an example there. Intellectual property protection would be one. That is an area that’s important, and it’s important because increasingly, in countries like India, China, and elsewhere, you have more and more entrepreneurs. These people want their intellectual property protected.

So finding ways of doing this in terms of common practices and common standards for protecting intellectual property is a positive thing that can help by learning what other countries have – are doing or have done to improve practices within individual countries. It’s not a society of countries lecturing one another; it’s a way of saying, “We’ve got common problems, we’ve got common challenges. We’ve got common challenges from a systemic point of view, we have common issues that we have to deal with domestically, let’s learn from one another, let’s try to find the best possible practices.” And if we find the best possible practices, then we can help to strengthen development and help to strengthen economic growth. So that’s really what the concept behind it is.

And the staff of the OECD is superb, and they do a lot of research on individual countries’ policies, on other countries’ policies. And frequently, countries will have a chance to look at other countries and say, “Wait, you might be able to do this better or even if you’re not, we may be able to learn how to do it better by looking at your successes or your failures.”

MODERATOR: Thank you, sir. Let’s go right up front, and then we’ll go to Andrew.

QUESTION: Hi. My name is Junko Ishikawa from Jiji Press. This Ministerial meeting is going to be the first one for Japan after massive earthquake, and I think Japan’s position is, in a way, very interesting this time, not only as a post-earthquake nation but also as an economic power which was taken over by China. And I would like to ask – I would like to ask your views on Japan and also wanted to hear if there’s any specific commitment or actions that you’d expect or you would like to see from Japan in terms of commitment.

MODERATOR: Thank you.

UNDER SECRETARY HORMATS: I would just answer that very briefly by saying we have worked very closely, as you may know, with Japan after these terrible tragedies that have befallen Japan and killed or damaged the lives of so many people and so much property. There’s an enormous amount of American support. But I think that that support has been proved largely bilaterally and will continue, and there will also be not so much at the OECD. But at the G-8 meeting, there is going to be a session that will be devoted, in fact, right at the outset of the G-8 meeting, on the developments in Japan and demonstrating solidarity for Japan among the G-8.

So I think Prime Minister Kan will find a very strong degree of international solidarity when he comes to the G-8, and I’m sure that the sessions he participates at the OECD he will find the same thing. But I don’t think anyone is going to have any requests of Japan at this point. It’s more demonstrating our sort of collective support for Japan.

MODERATOR: Ambassador, I know the OECD Secretary General recently made some comments on Japan, if you want to add to that.

AMBASSADOR BOUCHER: Our Secretary General was just out in Japan. So I won’t repeat everything he said, but I think two things. One is there’s enormous sympathy and solidarity with Japan, but also recognition that Japan was developing a level of economic momentum post-crisis before the tsunami and the nuclear problems hit. There’ll be a downturn in Japan. It will probably bounce back with some reconstruction spending. But the fact that Prime Minister Kan is making this foreign trip, that he’s coming to the OECD Ministerial, I think shows that he’s determined to put Japan back on that long-term growth path and to look at what are the policies that he can use to do that, and just sit down with his colleagues and really discuss that.

And we welcome that, and I think that’s a bit of a vote of confidence at least in the OECD’s ability to bring people together to design these longer-term growth policies. And in addition, I would say we have a nuclear energy agency at the OECD, and they work on the issues of nuclear safety, and so they’re doing a lot with Japan right now and other countries to look at nuclear safety concerns and what we can learn from the problems in Fukushima.

MODERATOR: Thank you, sir. We’ll go to Andrew next.

QUESTION: Andrew Ackerman from Dow Jones. I was interested in your views – I have a question about the IMF. I’m wondering if you guys could share your views about who should lead the IMF going forward. And I think from the –

UNDER SECRETARY HORMATS: I think it’s better to – not to answer that question.

QUESTION: But I think – I mean it was commonly understood that Strauss-Kahn was going to leave probably this – within this summer. The number two was going to depart in August. Can you guys talk at all about maybe who – from what region the new managing directing should be from?

UNDER SECRETARY HORMATS: I really think we should let things calm down before we get into a discussion of that nature. Although I appreciate your question, I think the prudent answer is let’s let a little time pass before we try to answer that kind of question.

MODERATOR: Yes. Let’s see what happens.

AMBASSADOR BOUCHER: Goes double for me.

UNDER SECRETARY HORMATS: He was press secretary, so he’s even better at this.

QUESTION: I’m Christoph Schmidt with AFP. I have a question for Under Secretary Hormats. You said that Secretary Clinton will discuss new paradigms of development in Paris. Can you elaborate a little bit on that, please?

UNDER SECRETARY HORMATS: Bien sur. Let me – I’ll just take one area that is very important to her. But she’ll talk about a number of things, but let me – since we only have a couple more minutes, let me just give you one point, and that is: She is very interested in the notion of tax fairness, accountability, how countries structure their tax systems to make ensure that the – that (a) they have sufficient revenues to finance development, and (b) that the responsibility for providing these revenues is fairly shared among taxpayers, (c) that the taxpayers receive transparency so that they know – so the system itself is transparent, and (d) so that the use of the revenues is transparent so that people can see where their taxes are going, what uses they’re going to.

So that is one of the things she will talk about at some length, and I think that’s something she cares about a lot because she’s – she – one, the United States asked for development assistance from the Congress to prove support for developing countries, but I think it’s also important that developing countries, to the extent they can mobilize domestic resources. Now, some countries are very poor and simply don’t have large amounts of domestic resources, but to the extent that countries do, I think -- and she thinks it’s important to help – that they find ways of mobilizing them. And I will say this, that the OECD has done some very good work on this. The OECD – and I will also make the point that this is – while this is something that’s very important to her, there have been initiatives from the African countries and Latin American countries themselves which have focused on this. The African Development Bank and a number of African ministers and heads of – version of the Internal Revenue Service have been engaged in this. So this is something that for her is very important, and she will talk about it.

MODERATOR: We’ll have time for a follow-on question, and then that will have to be the last one.

QUESTION: It sounds to me that you just took the word “Pakistan” addressing fairness --

UNDER SECRETARY HORMATS: I’ll leave it to you to put countries in spots.

QUESTION: Yeah. I tell you my question was, will she touch on specific countries in her speech?

UNDER SECRETARY HORMATS: I doubt that she will talk about specific countries in her speech. I think she’s making a broader, generic point. And since it’s the last question, because unfortunately I have to go to see your ambassador, and I know Ambassador Boucher has another obligation, let me just also echo a point that he made that I thought he made very eloquently, and that is the point about jobs. And I think that we both talked it, but the way he put it reminded me of how important it was to emphasize at this particular point in our – in time, in our history, that it – from an American point of view, but from the point of view of any government, the ability to govern effectively depends on the ability of the government to connect with the concerns and the aspirations of main street citizens, citizens in cities and towns throughout the United States in the case of the United States, or in the case of France, throughout the country to really understand what citizens care about, what cause – what their aspirations, their concerns, and their hopes.

And I think that one of the things that we’re trying to do in the State Department is to have a very clear connection between what we do internationally and the concerns that are on the minds of our citizens in this country. And the central issue for most Americans, even people who have jobs, certainly people who don’t have jobs, certainly people who are looking for jobs, is the question of employment, the question of job creation, the question of good job creation, the question of sustaining employment, the question of training people so that they can get good jobs.

And so we think that one of the very important aspects of what the OECD does and one of the very important aspects of what we’re going to be talking about in Paris at the OECD is what we can do individually and collectively, using our own internal policies, but also what we have learned from dialogues with other countries, to support job creation, job maintenance, to support higher quality jobs. And I think that part of this Ministerial meeting is going to be very important in just the way our leaders who go there think about it. But also I think it will be important to leaders and other countries that go. You’ll see people – Europe has unemployment problems, other countries have unemployment problems. The focus on jobs is going to be extremely important. And Americans and people – Europe, throughout the world – should see that this is something that we not only care – we care about, but also we want to find ways of doing as much as we can to help promote job creation.

MODERATOR: Thank you, sir. Well, on behalf of the FPC and all of our colleagues from the media, thank you very much, gentlemen, for taking time to brief us today. Thank you, sir.

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