Ajša Vodnik, executive director of AmCham Slovenia was invited to attend Hillary Clinton’s Global Business Conference on last week of February in Washington DC. Overall there was an impressive gathering of US business organization Presidents or Executive Directors representing approximately 120 countries. Participants had privilege to be able to listen to and to meet some very high-level government representatives including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Deputy Secretary of State Tom Nides, US Trade Representative Ron Kirk, Secretary of Commerce John Bryson, Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs Mike Froman, and even US Vice President Joe Biden.

In her keynote luncheon address Secretary of State Hillary Clinton focused on economic statecraft and economic diplomacy: “America’s global strength and leadership are a package deal of both public excellence and private enterprise”. She and the other US government speakers stressed the need for United States Government to be the most effective champion of business and highlighted three areas of focus: promotion of US business overseas; attracting US investment back home; and creating a level-playing field for US business worldwide.

There were also several interesting policy-specific and regional breakout sessions with other State

Department, Commerce and USTR representatives, on topics including US Trade Policy, US Government Advocacy on behalf of Businesses, Intellectual Property Rights and US Energy and Climate Policy. In these interactive sessions many of European AmChams took the opportunity to communicate messages from the US business community in Europe and gave examples of success stories of how business, and in particular European AmChams, are already collaborating effectively with each other and with US embassies on issues of mutual concern. Ajša Vodnik specifically stressed that U.S. Ambassador in Slovenia H.E. Joseph A. Mussomeli and all his team are working enthusiastically to strengthen bilateral business cooperation.

On the Tuesday evening and Wednesday afternoon, AmCham delegates were hosted at the US Chamber Global AmCham Forum by Myron Brilliant.