Remarks by AIT Director W. Brent Christensen
at the Launch of Women’s Livelihood Bond 3
December 14, 2020
(as prepared for delivery)
Minister Wu, Minister Deng, Secretary General Hsiang, ladies and gentleman, Good Morning, Zao-An!
It is my distinct pleasure to be with you today and to join my colleagues at the Development Finance Corporation and the United States Agency for International Development to support the public launch of Women’s Livelihood Bond 3. Indeed, this program is a testament to the United States and Taiwan’s commitment to the shared value of promoting women’s development and prosperity.
Last month, at the inaugural meeting of the U.S.-Taiwan Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue the United States and Taiwan committed to working together on science and technology cooperation, global health security, and reshaping global supply chains. Throughout discussion of these very diverse topics, the promotion of women’s economic empowerment was a cross-cutting priority. Therefore, it is fitting that we build off the momentum of the Dialogue and jumpstart this initiative with a program that exemplifies our shared vision.
The United States government founded the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity, or W-GDP Initiative on the premise that empowering women is critical, not only to economic prosperity, but to global peace. The W-GDP initiative is working to reach 50 million women in the developing world by 2025 through partnerships and collaboration such as the Women’s Livelihood Bond 3.
As people, families, nations, and regions strive to recover and rebuild during the COVID-19 pandemic, development initiatives like Women’s Livelihood Bond 3 are even more critical. We need like-minded partners to come together, combine resources, and unlock private sector investment as a sustainable solution to many of the economic challenges and needs across the globe in general, and in the Indo-Pacific region and South East Asia in particular. This program does just that: by providing essential credit access to women entrepreneurs, we will create the needed linkages to facilitate women’s participation in the marketplace.
The U.S.-Taiwan collaboration on the Women’s Livelihood Bond builds upon our existing cooperation on several successful platforms and initiatives such as the Global Cooperation and Training Framework, the Women’s Economic Empowerment Summit, and our collaboration in APEC.
We often describe our relationship with Taiwan with the phrase: “Real friends, real progress – 真朋友，真進展.” But this is not just about advancing U.S.-Taiwan ties. It is about likeminded partners standing together to promote common values and shared interests. We are proud to stand with Taiwan and other likeminded partners to promote, support, and foster women’s economic empowerment around the world. Thank you.