August 18, 2000

U.S. and Chile Announce Cooperative Programs to Increase Trade Through Technolgy

Santiago, Chile - The United States and Chile announced today a set of programs that increases cooperation between U.S. and Chilean public and private sectors to promote e-commerce in the region. These programs were developed in close consultation with the U.S. and Chilean business communities, and are an out-growth of the Joint Committee on Trade and Investment (JCTI) e-commerce working group discussions held on August 10 in Santiago.

"Trade and technology is the engine of economic prosperity," Under Secretary LaRussa said. "The more we expand e-commerce trade, the more we advance the well-being of our citizens, creating a future where economic growth will continue to flourish."

The two governments have agreed to cooperate in the following ways:

· Getting Connected. Increasing awareness of the benefits of e-commerce through:

· High-level orientation visits focused on policy and technology topics such as e-commerce, e-government, and e-banking.

· Seminars offering small business the opportunity to assess their technology needs and implement solutions using interactive diagnostic multi-language software.

· Series of video conferences and briefings between key U.S. and Chilean government, Congressional, and private sector representatives, drawing on U.S. experiences in the new economy and other topics identified by the business community such as venture capital, start-ups, and distribution.

· Small Business Program. In partnership with the private sector the two governments will hold a series of seminar focusing on how to do business using e-commerce. Special emphasis will be given to the legal, financial, customs, and logistical issues related to bilateral trade and the various tools, techniques, and strategies for using the Internet and e-commerce to participate in international trade. For instance, the seminars will showcase technology tools like · and will utilize video conferencing to facilitate a public-private dialogue between U.S. and Chilean technology and policy experts and the business communities in both countries.

· Strategic Partners Conference. The United States will host a conference designed to increase Chilean participation in e-commerce by bringing U.S. and Chilean small- and medium-sized businesses together to explore business opportunities and will call attention to the need to promote more Spanish-language content on the Internet. Participating companies will include: dot.coms, venture capitalists, software developers, and other Chilean and U.S. sectors involved with e-commerce.

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