There’s another reason why businesses are so important to America’s foreign policy. Because after all, for all that we can do in the State Department to have our diplomats and development experts out there telling America’s story, most people’s impressions of our country will be shaped by our businesses. And in particular, we know that it’s how millions and millions of people find out about our values, what we really stand for, what kind of people we are. So in short, it’s critically important for the interests of our foreign policy for our American companies to operate responsibly and well.
And that brings us to our awards. And as usual, we have two winners, a small firm and a large one, which really demonstrates the range of American involvement in the global marketplace.
Now I’m delighted to announce the winner of the Award for Corporate Excellence in the large business category. Now, this is a real household name: Intel, and in particular, Intel’s office in Vietnam, which is a national leader in promoting education, sustainable development, and empowering women.
On education, Intel is helping to train the next generation of highly skilled workers by partnering with USAID and Arizona State University to help eight Vietnamese universities improve their science and engineering programs. Intel has also helped dozens of Vietnamese students come to the United States to study engineering. And this year, of all the students who got these scholarships, 80 percent were women. And I was able to meet some of them when I was in Vietnam some months ago.
On the environmental front, Intel has stepped up its efforts to be a good steward of Vietnam’s resources. All of Intel’s plants in the country are recycling and treating their wastewater. Intel also built the largest solar power plant in the country, which cut production of carbon dioxide by more than 221,000 kilograms a year.
And I am delighted that Paul Otellini is here. He’s recently announced his retirement, but it’s wonderful to have you here accepting this award on a company that you’ve given so much to over so many years. Paul, please come up and accept the award and maybe make a few comments. (Applause.)
I can’t invite the entire Intel – (laughter) – Corporation to come up, but let’s have the people come up for the picture who were here specifically for this award. (Applause.)
MR. OTELLINI: Well, good afternoon – or good morning. Thank you so much, Secretary Clinton. It’s – I’m honored to be here aside you, and I’m glad I got to do this before I rode off into the sunset.
It’s a great honor to accept the ACE award on behalf of Intel, particularly the dedicated men and women of Intel Vietnam who have done so much to make our efforts in that country so successful. This award is particularly gratifying to Intel because it demonstrates that good business can go hand-in-hand with good corporate citizenship.
As a U.S.-based global company, Intel has long recognized the potential benefits of investing in Vietnam. We were one of the one of the earliest large companies to make a long-term investment there. In addition to our sales and marketing force, we have over 1,000 employees at Intel’s $1 billion chip assembly and test facility, the largest of its kind in our factory network.
As our presence in Vietnam has grown, so has our commitment to the communities where we live and operate. I’m proud to share that 98 percent of our employees in Vietnam volunteer in educational settings or community activities leading our company in volunteerism. Intel has long believed that a key component of any thriving high-tech industry and ecosystem is a strong, vibrant public higher education system. For several years now, Intel has been a proud partner with the USAID mission in Vietnam, Portland State, and Arizona State universities to spearhead efforts to improve educational opportunities in Vietnam. Working with eight leading Vietnamese universities, we’ve helped modernize and improve engineering programs in the country by strengthening teacher training and upgrading their curriculum. Our goal has always been to bring the country’s higher education system in line with the needs of a growing high-tech company.
As we’ve seen before in other countries, stronger economic ties can often pave the way for closer diplomatic and political relations. We’d be incredibly proud if Intel’s expansion into Vietnam and our outreach to the Vietnamese people could play a small role in leading to a deeper, more productive understanding between our two nations.
Again, on behalf of Intel, we appreciate this award and look forward to working with the U.S. Government and our mutual interests in Vietnam. Thank you. (Applause.)
UNDERSECRETARY HORMATS: I want to welcome my friend Dave Shear who is here somewhere and Viet Intel's General Manager Sherry Boger. Oh there they are. Welcome to both of you. Thanks for being part of this. Dave let me turn the floor over to you first.
AMBASSADOR SHEAR: Good morning Washington. Ambassador Hormats, Ambassador Cuong, CEOs, ladies and gentlemen. I am joined here tonight not only by Sherry Boger from Intel Vietnam, but also by David McConville from Intel, by my great economic, political and public affairs teams, and we are delighted to join you for these awards ceremonies. I visited the Intel facility shortly after I arrived at post last year, and it was clear from the start that Intel is committed to raising the level of engineering education throughout Vietnam. It is committed to maintaining the highest environmental standards and to implementing good corporate governance. And this is not only good for Intel, but it is good for the whole community in which Intel does business. And it is good for Vietnam as a whole.
SHERRY BOGER: I strongly believe and want to say that the ACE award mirrors our Intel Vietnam mission, which was set from day one when we started to build the factory to create a future for Intel and Vietnam. Once again, on behalf of all Intel Vietnam team members, I would like to thank U.S. Secretary of State Clinton and my sincere appreciation to Ambassador Shear, the U.S. Embassy here in Hanoi, and the USAID Mission in Hanoi for nominating Intel Products Vietnam for this most prestigious award. Thank you.