Sec. Rice At 2007 Award For Corporate Excellence
Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Benjamin Franklin Room
November 6, 2007
Remarks at the 2007 Award for Corporate Excellence Ceremony
SECRETARY RICE: Good morning. Welcome to the State Department to the Benjamin Franklin Room. I want to thank you, Henrietta, for the introduction. Good morning to all of you here today, as well as to everybody who's joining us via satellite from Cameroon and Indonesia.
It's my great pleasure to be here at the 2007 Secretary of State's Awards for Corporate Excellence. Today we honor two companies embodying the best of the American spirit: capitalism, compassion and contribution. President Bush believes that the continued success of free society and free markets around the world co-exist with social responsibility. As the President has said, there is no capitalism without conscience.
Every day in virtually every country in the world, American businesses are giving back to people, to communities and to the countries that enable them to thrive. The responsibility to strengthen opportunities for U.S. businesses and our nation's workers extends to our nation's diplomacy. And I personally take that duty very seriously. Under the President's leadership, the Administration has achieved an historic record on trade, investment, foreign assistance and economic empowerment. We have negotiated more free trade agreements than all previous administrations combined. We have four important deals with Colombia, Panama, Peru and South Korea that are pending approval before Congress. And we continue to urge the Congress to act and pass those agreements soon.
Along with our trade agenda, the Administration has launched the biggest development agenda since the Marshall Plan. We have developed a new assistance mechanism, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, to reduce poverty by encouraging developing countries to rule justly, to invest in their people and to promote economic freedom. And we have reiterated America's longstanding commitment to promote open investment policies and free trade on a level playing field. Your contributions to this effort, along with those of NGOs, labor groups and others, has been critical.
The Award for Corporate Excellence, or the ACE, was created in 1999 to recognize the important role that American businesses play abroad as responsible corporate citizens. This year, we celebrate Africa and Asia and honor two companies -- one large and one small -- that have exhibited qualities of ingenuity, character and integrity.
Ladies and gentlemen, I just want to stress that these awards are very important to the United States and to me personally. American foreign policy is not just the work of the American government. True public diplomacy is a collaborative effort of American citizens and American businesses spreading American goodwill. We're grateful for the help that we receive from hardworking compassionate American citizens and from responsible, caring corporate citizens, like the ones that we are honoring here today. It is clear from this year's ACE awards that these recipients in the American business community are showing that the business community is doing its part to improve the lives of citizens around the globe.
And so on behalf of the President and the American people, I want to thank you again both here in Washington and abroad, especially in Cameroon and Indonesia, for your hard work and for the example that you set for all in the corporate community to be a part of making this a better, more democratic, more prosperous and ultimately a safer world.
Thank you very much. And now I'd like to turn the program over to Under Secretary Henrietta Fore who is going to present the award to our terrific corporate citizens. Thank you very much. (Applause.)