For Immediate Release: December 9, 2011
Contact: Lorri Crowley (202) 482-3809
Obama Trade Official Links Democracy to Open Governments and Economic Growth
Commerce Under Secretary Francisco Sánchez delivers remarks at Bali Democracy Forum IV
BALI, Indonesia – Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sánchez linked democracy to open governments and economic growth in his remarks at the fourth annual Bali Democracy Forum (BDF), which concluded today.
“The health of a democracy and the health of an economy are inexorably intertwined,” Sánchez stated. “My primary goal is to work with all of you to identify ways we can strengthen the economic bonds between the U.S. and Asia – and in turn strengthen our democracies.”
Sánchez led the high-level observer delegation from the U.S. attending this year’s forum, which focused on the theme of enhancing citizen participation in the democratic governance process. Sánchez is the first Commerce official to lead the U.S. delegation to the Forum of mostly Middle East, South Asian and Pacific nations. This year’s theme was “Enhancing Democratic Participation in a Changing World: Responding to Democratic Voices.”
Indonesian President Yudhoyono founded the BDF in 2008 to promote democracy in the region. The BDF is the only government-led forum that promotes democracy throughout Asia. The number of participants continues to grow, with more than 50 participant and 60 observer delegations participating in 2011. The BDF promotes peaceful transitions to democracy while respecting varied processes of democratization and provides a unique opportunity for representatives of countries at different points in their democratic evolution to share experiences and learn from one another.
Sánchez said, “This discussion obviously means a great deal to all of the countries represented and could not be more timely. The United States is proud to work with all of you to champion the values and ideals we share: individual liberty, human dignity, cultural diversity and opportunity for all.”
The United States and Indonesia have a fast-growing, multi-billion dollar trade and investment relationship, with two-way trade in goods and services totaling over $23.4 billion in 2010.In the first nine months of 2011, U.S. goods exports to Indonesia expanded by 9 percent compared to the same period in 2010.
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