For Immediate Release: June 16, 2010
Contact: Mary Trupo (202) 482-3809
Commerce Official, U.S. Delegation Head to Rebuild Chile Expo
SANTIAGO, Chile –U.S. companies that offer products and services needed to rebuild Chile following February’s devastating earthquake and tsunami are participating, along with Walter Bastian, the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration’s (ITA) deputy assistant secretary for the Western Hemisphere, in the Rebuild Chile Expo, in Santiago, June 15-17. The Expo seeks to connect U.S. companies with business opportunities in Chile to help in the post-disaster reconstruction.
“The Government of Chile has set a national goal to recover from the earthquake and tsunami within four years, and to raise the standard of living in Chile to developed-country status by 2018,” Bastian said. “As a result, Chile’s rebuilding effort will focus on bringing in the most sophisticated and energy-efficient solutions to propel the country forward.”
The 8.8-magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami caused upwards of $30 billion in damages. The Chilean government estimates that urban planning projects and building programs related to housing reconstruction alone will exceed U.S. $3.5 billion. Chilean officials are also seeking collaboration on reconstruction for infrastructure, schools, hospitals, and clinics.
The Rebuild Chile Expo is being organized by Kallman Worldwide and supported by the Department of Commerce and the U.S. Embassy in Santiago. The Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, and the Small Business Administration also sent representatives to Chile. Expo speakers include officials from Chile’s Ministry of Planning, Public Works, Defense, Housing, Health, and Environment.
In April, Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke brought together representatives from American firms that could help in Chile’s reconstruction with Chilean President Sebastián Piñera to discuss that nation’s needs for assistance.
ITA’s participation in this event is consistent with the goals of President Obama’s National Export Initiative, as there will be major reconstruction and improvement projects coming down the pike, providing unique opportunities for U.S. companies to become involved in the Chilean market.
ITA, through trade missions and other vehicles, creates opportunities for U.S. companies wishing to do business in foreign markets. For more information on the Rebuild Chile Expo, please visit http://www.export.gov/eac/show_detail_trade_events.asp?EventID=30896
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