Jutland Executives meet with U.S. Ambassador
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On February 24, executives from Danish and American companies in Jutland gathered for an informal roundtable meeting with U.S. Ambassador Laurie S. Fulton at Jyske Bank’s headquarters in Silkeborg. The event was one of the Ambassador's stops on her public outreach visit to Jutland.
Following brief welcoming remarks from Jyske Bank’s Managing Director Leif F. Larsen and AmCham Denmark’s Executive Director Stephen Brugger, Ambassador Fulton opened the discussions with some thoughts and observations from President Obama’s State of the Union speech last month.
“President Obama called together the American family – and our sense of American spirit and pride -- to win the future together. I believe that President Obama’s speech demonstrated confident and persuasive leadership.” stated Ambassador Fulton. “Despite the financial crisis that hit the U.S. a couple of years ago, and despite the still too-high unemployment rate – have confidence in the United States – and have confidence in the leadership of the United States.”
Ambassador Fulton also stressed that both the US and EU have better prospects if they work together.
“In this effort, the United States and Denmark are partners, not competitors. We all know that mutually beneficial trade creates growth and jobs for both trading partners. That truth is well understood in the U.S. and EU. Our economies are central drivers of the global economy -- accounting for over 30% of global trade and 50% of global GDP.”
On the economy, Ambassador Fulton noted that there has been much concern about the long-term fiscal health of the U.S. It is a serious concern, and President Obama, the U.S. Congress and the American people are taking it seriously.
“I'm confident that we are seeing the beginning of a sustained economic upswing in the U.S. We have a long way to go until we reach our pre-crisis levels, but growth will come, maybe slowly, but it will come. One important indicator is jobs. After shedding jobs for 22 consecutive months, the private sector in the U.S. has now added jobs for 8 months in a row. And our GDP is up for four straight quarters.
In the ensuing discussion, executives engaged in a variety of topics related to American-Danish trade as well as events taking place on the global scene. Also participating in the roundtable were the Embassy’s First Secretary, Economic Affairs Shawn Waddoups and the Head of Commercial Section Bjarke Frederiksen.
Following the Ambassador’s departure, executives were invited to an economic briefing by Ivan Stendal Hansen, Director for Jyske Markets. Discussions focused on the Danish banking situation as well as the outlook for the global economy.
“This was a lively and engaging session – our executives appreciated the opportunity to meet Ambassador Fulton and exchange ideas with her in such a relaxed setting.” says AmCham Executive Director Stephen Brugger.
In this interview with Jyske Bank TV ambassador Fulton discusses some of what she sees as the most important issues affecting US Danish relations and explains some of President Obama's key messages for the future. Click here.
To read a transcript of Ambassador Fulton’s “State of the Union” presentation, click here.