It is my pleasure to send best wishes on behalf of the United States Government to everyone participating in the Invest for the Future Conference. By bringing together women entrepreneurs from across the region, we hope to help generate a long-term cycle of progress for you, your families, your communities, your countries, and even the world. The research is so clear: Investing in women is one of the best ways to spur economic growth, to accelerate development, and to reduce poverty, which in turn strengthens national security. We hope this conference will give you a chance to make contacts, form partnerships and friendships, and make plans together to increase economic opportunities for women, including yourselves.
You know very well that women business owners face significant social, cultural, and economic obstacles. The success that each of you has achieved is a testament to your talents and leadership. We hope this conference gives you even more support, confidence, and tools to grow and strengthen your businesses. And as you succeed, you will become examples to other women in your communities and countries, and you will have the chance to mentor women who are seeking to launch their own businesses. When we invest in women, we invest in the future. I wish all of you a successful time together in Istanbul. I hope this is just the beginning of a long-term partnership for all of us. Thank you very much.