Joint Statement of the U.S.-Argentina Digital Economy Working Group Announcing Implementation of the Global Connect Initiative Work Plan

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
November 2, 2016

At the second meeting of the U.S.-Argentina Digital Economy Working Group, which took place in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, November 2, 2016, the two countries discussed concrete steps they can take to advance cooperation under the Global Connect Initiative (GCI) announced in Buenos Aires in August.

The Working Group was led by Ambassador Daniel A. Sepulveda, U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy at the U.S. Department of State and Argentine Minister of Communications Oscar Aguad. They were joined by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Thomas Wheeler, Clarisa Estol, the Argentine Secretary of State for Investment Promotion of the Ministry, and Miguel De Godoy, President of the National Communications Agency of Argentina (ENACOM).

The two countries, along with non-governmental stakeholders from the communications sector, discussed specific steps that parties could take to increase deployment of Argentina’s Internet and broadband infrastructure as part of the GCI goal of bringing 1.5 billion people worldwide online by 2020.

The FCC and ENACOM discussed a work plan to advance the cooperation outlined in the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the United States and Argentina in August, 2016.

Argentina’s representatives discussed the possibility of negotiating a Memorandum of Understanding with the United States Telecommunications Training Institute to make training opportunities available for the development of a competitive telecommunications and Internet market. The Information Technology Industry Council, the Television Association of Programmers Latin America, and individual companies focused on the promotion of global best practices for regulations and laws to support Argentina as a competitive business and investment destination for global technology companies.

To concretize these commitments, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the World Economic Forum, and the Global Connect Initiative, in partnership with the Government of Argentina, announced plans for a joint roundtable to be held in Buenos Aires November 10, 2016. This will be the first of several meetings over a three year period to discuss and catalyze the development of new models of private public collaboration to accelerate internet access and adoption for all Argentina citizens. Topics include the best approach for supporting Argentina in its goals for telecommunications reform and deployment of high-speed broadband Internet in underserved regions of the country, and the opportunity of the internet to enable transformational changes in key sectors such as agriculture, health, and financial services. These topics also will be explored in the Internet Society/IDB/Government of Argentina Latin America and Caribbean “Internet & Development Dialogue” planned for November 8-9, 2016 in Buenos Aires.