Remarks by Ambassador Ted Osius at the Launch of WECREATE Vietnam

Ambassador Osius stresses the importance of women’s entrepreneurship at the launch of WECREATE Vietnam.

WECREATE | Vietnam

Good afternoon, friends, and thank you for the gracious welcome.  I am excited to be a part of the launch of WECREATE Vietnam, and pleased we are holding the opening ceremony the day after Vietnam’s Women’s Day.

When President Obama visited Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in May, he announced we would open a women’s entrepreneurship center in Vietnam that will help empower the next generation of women business owners.  Today is the day we make good on that promise.

As U.S. ambassador, I meet with a lot of people who are eager to strike out on their own, start something new, contribute to their communities, and shape their own financial futures.  That’s what entrepreneurship is about.  It’s building businesses, creating jobs, and developing new products.

Of course, being an entrepreneur is not easy.  And it can be especially difficult for women.  But that’s why WECREATE is so important.  This center will influence many lives, which in turn will help Vietnam to not only continue to achieve growth, but to do so in a way that sustains and protects what society values — the health of the environment, the well-being of its workers, education and the means of creativity for a young, dynamic, entrepreneurial population.

Furthermore, we’ve seen that when women entrepreneurs succeed, they are more likely to invest their earnings back into their families and their communities, paying for things like their children’s education and immunizations.  So my message to all the women entrepreneurs here today is that I believe in you, America believes in you, and we’re going to keep investing in your success.

WECREATE is yet another example of the U.S. commitment to Vietnam and to all of the ASEAN region, as exemplified in US-ASEAN Connect, a new economic engagement initiative launched by President Obama last month in Vientiane.

I also want to recognize our many partners, who have made today possible and are working to ensure WECREATE | Vietnam is executed at the local level, with leaders who are committed to securing better economic opportunities for their constituents.  Thank you to our local implementing partners VCCI and Paz Y Desarrollo.  And this Center would not be possible without the Vietnam Women Entrepreneurship Council (VWEC), and the State Department’s Tanya Hiple and StartUp Cup.

Thank you once again for hosting me today at this new and impressive facility.  I wish the greatest success for WECREATE |Vietnam, its women, and for all of the entrepreneurs in Vietnam.