Nominee For US Ambassador Praises Slovenia, Will Push for More Privatisation

By , 18 Aug 2018, 09:23 AM News
Ms Blanchard Ms Blanchard 100x Development

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STA, 17 August 2018 - Lynda Blanchard, the nominee for the new US Ambassador to Slovenia, described Slovenia in a hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington on Friday as "a reliable partner of the US" and a "regional leader in implementing democratic reforms" in the Balkan region. She pledged to encourage the continuation of privatisation. 

"Slovenia has built an impressive reputation for international cooperation, multilateral engagement and respect for the rule of law," the entrepreneur and humanitarian activist told the committee.

The likely successor of Ambassador Brent Hartley pointed out Slovenia has supported many US initiative abroad, including in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Its government has adopted rigorous measures to combat human trafficking, its institutions safeguard civil liberties and promote human rights domestically and around the globe. These commitments and the ways that underpin them are not simple or easy and must be recognised and commended."

Turning to the Slovenian economy, Blanchard said that 50% of it is "under state ownership or control", which entails "opportunities for increased private investment".

She added that in recent years the government has taken steps to privatise state-owned enterprises and "privatisation has contributed to improved economic outcomes".

"Encouraging these reforms and initiatives will help Slovenia attract US companies and investors interested in doing business there."

"If confirmed, senators, I will relentlessly advocate and use every available tool at my disposal to encourage Slovenians to accelerate reforms to improve bilateral trade and investment opportunities."

Blanchard, who also said she understands and appreciates "the immense importance of this post to the first lady", added that US-Slovenian relations needed to continue to improve "through direct outreach and engagement with Slovenian people".

The mother of seven children, four of which were adopted abroad, said she would "seek to enhance and expand further American standing by directly engaging the Slovenian public".

Blanchard is a co-founder of the development foundation 100X, which is looking for creative solutions for the elimination of poverty and improving lives of children around the world.

She has also co-founded the real estate investment management company B&M, where she currently works as a senior advisor.

As part of her work in the 100X foundation, Blanchard has been active in Africa, Asia and South America, helping open orphanages and food production companies and managing sustainable development programmes.

Having been an advocate of people with special needs for almost 20 years, she has volunteered in NGO committees and supported numerous educational programmes in Alabama. She has also helped families interested in adopting children.

You can read more about Ms Blanchard on the 100X website, here.

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