Ambassador Galt’s Remarks at Startup Mongolia Entrepreneurship Event

AMBASSADOR GALT: Thank you very much. Thank you for inviting me here today. I was saying, earlier, to your president and your director this is the first university that I have visited in Mongolia and I understand I have made the right choice. So, thank you to Startup Mongolia for that very impressive presentation.

In my short few months in Mongolia, I can already say that there is an energy that I find very inspiring here. And I think that energy comes from young talent. And I see lot of young talent in the room here today.

I had an opportunity to visit the Oyu Tolgoi mine a couple of weeks ago, down in the Gobi. And there are lot of riches coming out of the ground in the Gobi, but for me the real wealth at that site are the hundreds of young Mongolians who work at that site. I had the opportunity to talk with young engineers, young drivers, and young safety technicians and I was impressed with their English, as I was today, I was impressed with their knowledge and their skills, and their worldview. So, I am confident that many of them are the graduates from this university and I look forward to hearing from all of you today.

Before we get started with the pitches, I want to say a little bit about entrepreneurship. As you all know, the United States highly values entrepreneurship. We consider it the ability to start something on your own, to lift yourself up, and shape your own destiny. I think those are the values that the United States and Mongolia, as democracies, share.

So, in fact, in the United States we don’t just celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week, which is this week. President Obama has declared the entire month of November to be National Entrepreneurship Month. So, we dedicate a lot of time and resources to fostering entrepreneurs and celebrating entrepreneurship in the United States.

As President Obama has said many times, “Entrepreneurship creates new jobs and new businesses,” as you saw in the presentation just now. “New ways to deliver basic services, new ways of seeing the world — it’s the spark of prosperity.” And I think this creates great hope and promise for Mongolia.

We understand that opportunities, such as access to capital and suitable training, can sometimes be hard to come by. That’s we think advocating on behalf of entrepreneurs is a very important thing for the United States government to engage in.

So, I want to tell you a couple of things we tried to do to encourage entrepreneurship. First, we strongly encouraged governments, companies, and organizations to connect emerging entrepreneurs and investors around the world.

Second, we are making concerted efforts to connect business leaders with innovators around the globe. And the some of the examples that were in the presentation just now I think are good examples of those successful connections.

Third, we are focusing much of our support on women entrepreneurs – in country after country, when women are successful they invest relatively more of their profits into their families and their communities. So, I am especially pleased to see so many young women entrepreneurs in the audience today.

I was pleased to learn about Startup Mongolia just now, and about the beginnings of entrepreneurship in Mongolia. So, I am going to stop talking and I look forward to hearing the pitches coming out of this room today.

Thank you very much.