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Diplomacy in Action

Meeting With Embassy Singapore Staff and Their Families


Remarks
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
St. Regis Hotel
Singapore
November 17, 2012

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AMBASSADOR ADELMAN: Well, Madam Secretary, you are in the presence of an all-star team. And that is really what we're about here in the U.S. Embassy Singapore, and that is teamwork. We've got 19 U.S. Government agencies working hard every day. And you saw some of their good work over the last couple of days. U.S.-Singapore relations, as you know, have never been better, and that's a result of the work of these extraordinarily talented people and their families, who have all served the public. And, if you don't mind, I will add following in your good example.

I know they want to hear from you, and we sincerely hope you will have some time to greet some of the families individually.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Absolutely. Absolutely.

AMBASSADOR ADELMAN: So, once again, please join me in thanking our United States Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton. (Applause.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much. Thank you, David. Thank you. Thank you all. Well, it is wonderful, being back here in Singapore, and having this chance to thank each and every one of you for the great contributions you are making to this important relationship. I want to thank the ambassador and Caroline and their entire family for representing our country so well, so enthusiastically, and so positively. And it is a special pleasure for me to thank you for what you've done to help make this trip of mine successful, and what you do every day to bring the people of our two countries closer together.

I have had excellent meetings here in Singapore. I just gave a speech about an hour-and-a-half ago at Singapore Management University about the nexus of economic power and global influence, and explaining what I call our economic statecraft agenda. I raised these issues in the meetings with the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister. And we couldn't do what we are doing without all of you supporting American businesses, including the more than 2,000 who have their regional headquarters here. I was just out at the GE facility that does aircraft parts repair, and it was great to see what they are doing here in this region. And I also want to thank you for coordinating the efforts, as David was saying, of 19 agencies represented here. That's a lot of coordination. From State and Defense to Commerce, Treasury, USDA, and so much more.

But that represents the depth and breadth of our relationship. And this embassy has led the way with regional trade missions to Indonesia, Vietnam, India, Malaysia, most recently Burma, that ended with at least five American companies either opening an office or landing a sale there. And I am proud to say that today U.S. exports to Singapore are at an all-time high, as are American investments. That's a testament to the ambassador's leadership and the talent and energy of so many of you in this room.

I know you're also reaching out to the community, helping to clean up one of Singapore's beautiful beaches, volunteering at the Special Olympics or the Ronald McDonald House, serving meals at a retirement home, building connections which, after all, are the base of any strong relationship. That is every bit as important as security and economics for the long run.

I also want to thank all the family members who are here today. I know that there is a lot of you who are far from home. But I am glad that you are part of this team. Some of you have served unaccompanied time in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan, which I greatly appreciate. The President and I are very grateful for what you do.

I also want to take a moment to recognize our locally-engaged staff. Could all of our Singaporean staff raise your hands so we can thank you for what you do every single day? (Applause.) I want to congratulate your FSN of the Year, Susan Mok. (Applause.) And there are 3 staff members -- I did a double-take when I saw this number -- there are 3 staff members who, between them, have put in a combined 120 years of service at this post. (Applause.) Now, they all started when they were in kindergarten. (Laughter.) But let me thank Yahya Rahmat, Amy Ho, and Helen Jen. (Applause.) Because I know very well that ambassadors come and go, and secretaries come and go, but our locally-employed staff provide the continuity, the memory bank that keeps our mission going year after year.

So, it is wonderful for me to be able to come and take this chance to celebrate and thank you for all you're accomplishing on behalf of the American people and this critical relationship. And now I'm going to shake as many hands as I can, and thank you personally for the great job you are doing. Thank you all. (Applause.)



PRN: 2012/T74-10



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