Our "Photo of the Week" comes to us from Bernardino Soares of the U.S. Embassy in Dili, where Secretary Clinton became the first-ever U.S. Secretary of State to visit Timor-Leste on September 6. The photograph shows Secretary Clinton and U.S. Ambassador to Timor-Leste Judith R. Fergin as they are greeted by traditional dancers at a coffee-processing factory owned by the Cooperativa Cafe Timor (CCT). Secretary Clinton traveled to Timor-Leste as part of a six country trip to the Pacific, East Asia, and Russia.
According to USAID, CCT is the country's largest cooperative with more than 21,000 farmer members and employing 3,000 workers during the coffee harvest and processing season from July to December. Working with USAID, CCT has now moved to extend the coffee cooperative model to other crops, including cloves, cacao, black pepper and cassava, benefiting farmers across the country.
In a joint press conference with Timor-Leste Prime Minister, Secretary Clinton said, "I was so impressed by the role that the cooperative has in creating economic opportunity and transforming the lives of people in the rural districts, and we're going to look for additional ways to support economic development projects that work as well as that one. Projects like these reflect the model of partnership that the United States is pursuing across the Asia Pacific. These are partnerships rooted in our shared values, that deliver concrete benefits to people, and that help countries become stronger and more capable over time so they too can play their role in solving regional and global challenges."