As Secretary Clinton has so often said, “When women thrive, families, communities and countries thrive and the world becomes more peaceful and prosperous.” Encouraging and increasing women's economic participation is part of why I was in California this week to publicly announce the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Women and the Economy Summit (WES). WES will take place in conjunction with the third APEC Senior Officials Meeting in San Francisco, September 13-16, and involve more than 500 representatives from the APEC economies. WES is about exchanging ideas and making recommendations for concrete policies and projects encouraging women's involvement in economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region.
The United States is hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in 2011, bringing together the 21 APEC member economies to discuss how to expand economic cooperation in the Asia Pacific region in a way that fosters free and open trade and investment. Our public announcement gave a preview of the September meetings, which will cover a wide range of policy issues and involve high-level political participation. In addition to women and the economy, other topics addressed will be energy efficient transportation, trade and economic growth, health issues, and emergency preparedness.
WES is the premier event bringing together senior private and public sector players for a dialogue on fostering women's economic empowerment among the APEC economies. The dialogue will support a set of policy recommendations that will be delivered to the APEC Leaders' Meeting in November.
As we head towards these WES meetings in September, I look forward to laying the ground work for a successful summit. It is a great opportunity to advance our nation's agenda and expand the APEC region's economy. More importantly, it's a venue for dialogue on integrating women more fully into APEC economic planning and policy development.