The Chilean American Chamber of Commerce, AmCham, has conducted a highly successful business mission to Washington DC, participating in a number of activities as part of the official visit of President Michelle Bachelet to the US capital.
The delegation, in the United States between June 30 and July 2, was made up of representatives from a number of member businesses: Metlife, Principal Financial Group, Coca Cola, Walmart, Arauco, Bci, Goldman Sachs, Nisum and First Solar. The President of AmCham, Kathleen Barclay, stated that “the meetings we held in Washington were very positive in terms of strengthening business relations between the two countries. As well as taking part in a number of official activities, we held numerous meetings with high-ranking representatives of the US Government”.
The AmCham mission participated in four of President Bachelet’s official activities. The first of these took place in the Brookings Institution, the leading public policy research organization, in which the President gave a speech to leading figures in the field. Executives also attended the official reception held in the residence of the Chilean Ambassador to the United States, Juan Gabriel Valdés. Similarly, they attended the speech given by President Bachelet to business community representatives at the US Chamber of Commerce, in addition to her discourse to Latin American ambassadors accredited to the Organization of American States (OAS).
Furthermore, the AmCham delegation attended a meeting on Capitol Hill in the Senate Committee on Finance, in which they were welcomed by the Chief International Trade Counsel, Everett Eissenstat. During this meeting, participants discussed a number of different issues, including business perspectives relating to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP).
Likewise, they attended a lunch meeting organized by AmCham in McLarty Associates, in which the Obama Administration’s Economy Policy on Latin America was discussed in detail.
On this occasion, Juan González, Special Advisor on Western Hemisphere Affairs to Vice President Joe Biden, discussed US policy on Latin America. Previously, González, together with the Vice President, met with President Bachelet, highlighting the shared agenda between the two countries. Joint areas of interest included education, energy (in which discussions began on the export of shale gas to Chile), and the TPP.
The Special Advisor also made clear the US interest in the Pacific Alliance, and how to participate in the process. The President of AmCham explained that, “this mission had a full schedule, allowing participants to comprehensively gauge the US reality and its relationship with Chile… (and)… on the other hand, the joint work between Minister Pacheco and US authorities and businesses to ensure that energy remains one of the main issues on which relations between the two countries continue to be strengthened”.
She added that AmCham will continue engaging in this type of business mission, the idea behind which is to identify business opportunities and to deepen ties between public and private representatives from both countries.