HARTSVILLE – The annual joint meeting of the civic organizations – Rotary, Kiwanis, Sunrise Rotary and Lions – was held May 25 at the Hartsville Country Club.
It was sponsored by the Greater Hartsville Chamber of Commerce. The guest speak was U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein Edward T. McMullen Jr. who served under President Donald Trump.
Justin Evans introduced McMullen. Evans said McMullen has been a mentor to him and a friend.
McMullen said he immediately started traveling around the country when he arrived in Switzerland.
McMullen said one reason he chose Switzerland was because of its business relationship with the United States. McMullen said President Trump wanted to improve business relations with the Swiss people. He said Trump traveled to Switzerland twice, and the Swiss president made the country’s first visit to the Oval office.
McMullen said, “While the country is less than 1% of the U.S, in size, Switzerland is the sixth largest foreign direct in the United States.” He said more than 500 Swiss companies are active in the United States and more than 25 in South Carolina. He said Swiss investment in the U.S. has created more than 500,000 jobs.
“Swiss affiliates pay the highest average salary among the seven largest investors in the U.S.,” McMullen said.
He said the ambassador’s residence in Bern is one of the top five residences for ambassadors in the world. He said the residence and embassy adjoin each other, making it easy for him to go home for lunch. McMullen said he was one a few ambassadors serving two countries. Liechtenstein is a small country between Austria and Switzerland. McMullen visited the country many times as ambassador.
McMullen left Switzerland Jan. 23 after three years and two month as ambassador. He said he had told the president in October before the 2020 presidential election that he was ready to come back home to South Carolina. He resides on Sullivan’s Island near Charleston.
McMullen said being an ambassador was a great opportunity, and he would certain consider another ambassadorship.