Joint Statement of the U.S.-Argentina Digital Economy Working Group Announcing Cooperation under the Global Connect Initiative

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
August 10, 2016

Today in Buenos Aires, the United States and Argentina launched the U.S.-Argentina Digital Economy Working Group, during which the two countries announced that they will collaborate through the Global Connect Initiative (GCI) to bring 1.5 billion people who lack Internet access online by 2020. Argentina’s designation as a GCI focus country comes as Argentina under the Administration of President Macri seeks to connect Argentina’s underserved communities, create a modern regulatory environment, and encourage foreign investment.

The working group, led by Ambassador Daniel A. Sepulveda, U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy, U.S. Department of State, and Argentine Minister of Communications Oscar Aguad, Clarisa Estol, Secretary for Investment Promotion of the Ministry and joined by Chairman Thomas Wheeler, Federal Communications Commission, Miguel De Godoy, President of the National Communications Agency of Argentina (ENACOM), and, was established to discuss the global digital economy and the future of telecommunications reform in Argentina.

The United States and Argentine officials discussed mechanisms for enhancing competition and creating incentives for increased investment in the communications sector. The Argentine delegation presented its plan to create a competitive telecommunications market and provide the necessary incentives for foreign investment in that market. The United States offered technical assistance and the delegations agreed to share best practices.

Cooperation is expected to include technical consultations between U.S. and Argentine government experts to jointly develop a Global Connect work plan for Argentina, cooperation outlined by the Memorandum of Understanding between the United States Federal Communications Commission and the National Communications Agency of Argentina (Ente Nacional de Comunicaciones, or ENACOM), the encouragement of participation of Argentine technical experts in United States Telecommunications Training Institute courses, and the encouragement of the multistakeholder consultative process already begun by the Macri Administration to include development banks, the private sector, and other multilateral and multistakeholder organizations in the promotion of increased connectivity in Argentina.