This week, I'm honored to be leading the U.S. delegation to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Dubai to connect with inspiring entrepreneurs from around the world. From our earliest days, entrepreneurs have kept America vital and resilient. They are part of our national story and one of our great national strengths.
President Obama and Secretary Clinton have been clear that our global economic policy and our foreign policy go hand-in-hand. Economic tools advance our foreign policy, and our foreign policy can accelerate economic renewal. Stable societies are built on economic opportunity, and nothing creates opportunity like entrepreneurship.
Our focus on entrepreneurship taps into values we share with people around the world. Entrepreneurs crave space for creativity and possibility. And entrepreneurship thrives in places where what you know matters more than who you know. These aren't just economic ideals; they are political ideals that reflect universal values.
Promoting entrepreneurship plays to America's strengths. America is a place where anyone with a good idea can start a small business and see it succeed. Our entrepreneurship is admired around the world. In my travels, I get asked all the time: how do we create the next Silicon Valley in our country?
Many of the world's problems can only be solved through innovation -- innovation which can, and will, be driven by entrepreneurs from around the world. From clean energy to the supply chain needed to deliver medicines into rural Africa, these challenges need not just resources, but new ideas. Bringing innovative people together helps us bridge divides and build richer, stronger ties across borders.
For all these reasons, our diplomats are advancing entrepreneurship and engaging with entrepreneurs. But entrepreneurs should also be concerned with diplomacy. Entrepreneurs can't always go it alone. They need open, free, and fair regulatory systems and policy environments that favor risk-taking. They need an operating environment that makes it easy to start a business and get financing. They need legal certainty to increase investor confidence. And they need an understanding that failure is just part of the experience, not the end of a career.
American diplomats promote these conditions around the world every day in our work with foreign governments. We support entrepreneurship when we fight to prevent favoritism for state-owned companies, when we prevent piracy of intellectual property, and when we battle corruption. Hundreds of economic officers stationed at U.S. embassies and consulates around the world work every day to support entrepreneurs. It's what we call Economic Statecraft.
We are innovating how we conduct our diplomacy, using new tools to promote entrepreneurship around the world. We've sponsored countless delegations of entrepreneurs, technologists, and venture capitalists to connect investors with projects. We've launched business competitions that have sparked creativity, and spotlighted people who are making a difference. This is not traditional diplomacy -- and I think that's a good thing.
As Secretary Clinton has said, "Talent is universal; but unfortunately, opportunity is not." Entrepreneurship is one of our best tools to create opportunities. Consider this -- just to maintain the current rates of unemployment (which are already too high), the Middle East will need to create 50 to 100 million jobs by 2020. We can't get there without unleashing the power of entrepreneurship. That's why conferences like the Global Entrepreneurship Summit are so important -- they give us the chance to exchange ideas, build networks, and send a simple message: entrepreneurship is important and we are here to help.
Related Content: Watch President Obama's video message to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Dubai.