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There are 200 embassies in Washington D.C.

They employ about 10,000 people- some with full diplomatic status and others- including local hires, in-lower-office jobs, including chefs and chauffeurs.

According to a survey conducted by the Washington Board of Trade (2008), 16 countries employ at least 150 employees, led by Saudi Arabia (780 people); followed by the United Kingdom, France, Russia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Egypt, Australia, Germany, United Arab Emirates, Argentina, Spain, Indonesia and Mexico. Athough not included in the survey China also has a large contingent.

Together foreign embassies contribute U.S.$ 400 million a year to the local economy though they are exempt of property taxes. More than a dozen countries have built embassies the size of castles.

From these castle-bastions, foreign diplomats conduct what they call the new Washington diplomacy, an explosion of events geared to reaching the broadest possible audience in hopes of being heard above the din of other countries competing for the same elusive prize of influence. There is no doubt that Washington is seen as the premier diplomatic capital in the world. Every country wants to be represented in the best possible way, and that extends beyond sending their best diplomats and staff. It also involves the quality and appearance of the embassies.'       

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