"We have an opportunity with the convergence of the recognition on the part of government, the private sector, civil society, that we can be so much more effective working together than working at cross-purposes," Clinton told the 250 high-level investors, business executives, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, academics and policymakers gathered in Washington for the event, which includes two days of "interactive panels, workshops, inspirational keynotes, networking breaks and announcements of public and private sector deliverables that will be implemented post-forum," the State Department said on its Web site.
The forum, established to "improve collaboration between investors, businesses, entrepreneurs, governments and civil society and create opportunities to enhance and expand the Impact Economy," is "a great moment to look at where we stand in the world in the pursuit of economic growth and prosperity that is broadly inclusive and sustainable," Clinton said.
In a world in which "one out of three people in the world today living on less than $2 a day," Clinton said, "We believe expanding economic opportunity is fundamental to achieving our own national interest.
"We want more prosperous societies. We want to see people moving into the middle class. We want to see that creativity and entrepreneurial spirit fostering growth. And we have been working within the Obama Administration to bring our various institutions together to try to put forth that as a focus for us.
"So the State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Department of Commerce, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, many other of our own institutions working together with international and multilateral institutions are trying to crack the code on removing the obstacles that limit growth."
Clinton welcomed several global entrepreneurs to the event, including Virgin Atlantic founder Richard Branson, whom she called a "strong proponent for business as unusual."
"We've made it a goal of this administration to do more to engage with and coordinate with the private sector, non-profits, philanthropists, diasporas and anyone else who has value to add," Clinton said. "Working with the private sector can bolster both our foreign policy interests and our development efforts …
"Creating shared value is actually in all of our interest. … Our goal is to create an inclusive economic ecosystem that fosters this kind of investing," she said.