This year marks the 240th anniversary of the independence of the United States; a nation that continues to act as a world leader in economic terms, as well as one of Chile’s main commercial partners. For more than two hundred years the two countries have engaged in collaboration and exchange, not only financial but also cultural, educational, technological and in the sharing of new trends.
The US Declaration of Independence is considered to be one of the most innovative documents of all time, having incorporated a number of key principles relating to equality and liberty and which is still used as a template for other countries in the field of human rights. Throughout, the document makes ongoing reference to the idea of integrity and the independence of action; aspects that have established themselves across diverse levels of US politics, business and civil society in general.
The principles of the United States have formed a key part of AmCham Chile’s operations ever since the inception of the Chamber, with the concept of transparency acting as one of our leading inspirations. A great deal of progress has been made in Chile in this regard, particularly in terms of the administration and management of organizations. That way, and in addition to bearing the experience of European countries in mind, efforts have been made to greatly strengthen overall corporate governance in the country. Commercial relations and boosting trade and investment continue to be a priority for the Chamber, but now it is also the time to promote the value of society and human development. To this end, AmCham Chile has undertaken crucial work to review the principles, norms and operations of our own organization.
The first of our actions has focused on strengthening the role of the Nominations Committee. This was undertaken to improve the processes geared towards searching for and identifying future leaders and professionals to ensure a sustainable organization capable of long-term growth. We have defined concrete roles and responsibilities among members of the Board and, in addition, we have conducted work towards reforming our statutes and updating the corporate identity of the Chamber.
These improvements are in response to the challenges presented by an increasingly globalized world. There is still a great amount to do in Chile in terms of corporate governance, but organizations and businesses are beginning to understand its importance regarding work relationships between employees and in relation to the link with clients and other stakeholders.
Its latest independence anniversary provides us with an additional point of reflexion relating to the new trends taking hold in the US. One of these concerns the sharing economy, which in places such as Silicon Valley in California is a growing area of interest and one that has already produced some positive results.
Millions of internet users are today active participants in this collaborative economy. This economic model could, in fact, have an impact similar to, or greater than, social media and will lead to new opportunities for distinct sectors of the economy. Concrete examples of this phenomenon include the huge number of travelers who now lodge in private homes and the new ways in which people access transportation services. This movement has resulted in a significant shift in terms of consumer behavior. It has also given rise to the incorporation of new standards of quality and in greater competitiveness for businesses and organizations that offer traditional services.
The sharing economy will, undoubtedly, imply a cultural change. There will be more widespread access that, in turn, will influence the market to move towards unexpected places. In addition, this change will foster a technology-based commercial environment and greater competition in which the reputation of those supplying a number of different services will be key. The phenomenon shows that the US is a nation that continues to grow and reach out to new places, and whose influence in Chile is clear, timely and significant.