Catalin, Bernard, Mr. Counselor, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you very much for inviting me to be present here this morning to open the 3M Innovation Center in Bucharest, Romania.
One of my responsibilities as the United States Ambassador to Romania is to promote the interest of U.S. business in Romania, both in terms of broadly supporting U.S. companies in a broad variety of sectors here in Romania, but then also to support the activities of individual companies such as 3M. In this case it’s very easy to do so. 3M is one of the truly most important companies in the United States because of its commitment to innovation as Catalin described, its regular, very strong investments in research and development, and its approach to developing a relationship with customers that help it innovate products and then introduce those new products into the market.
Before arriving this morning I did not know that 3M had so many of these innovation centers – now 54 around the world – nor did I appreciate how important this interaction with 3M’s customer base, how important it is to their ability to continue the process of strong innovation year after year, after year.
Innovation is also very, very important to our work here in Romania as the Embassy of the United States of America. As you know we have three priorities. One is to promote the security of our two countries. Two is to promote democracy and all the values that are associated with democracy. But the third one is to promote prosperity between our two countries and economies, to improve the flow of trade in goods and services between Romania and the United States, to improve the flow of investment that occurs between our two countries. And I think central to all of that work is to promote innovation; promote innovation, promote entrepreneurship so the contribution that 3M is making today much more strongly with the opening of the center in Romania fits very, very well with our priorities in support of the Strategic Partnership between Romania and the United States.
So, Catalin, Bernard, thank you very much for inviting me to participate this morning.
Thank you, ladies and gentlemen for your attention and patience.