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For Immediate Release Contact: 
Jim Dyke, 202-482-4883 or
Patrick Kirwan, 202-482-3809
Monday, April 23, 2001 

Department of Commerce Teams with U.S. Companies to Promote E-Commerce in Latin America and the Caribbean

The U.S. Department of Commerce will launch an initiative to train information technology managers from Latin America and the Caribbean at U.S. companies, under a pilot program announced by President Bush Saturday at the Summit of the Americas in Quebec, Canada. 

The initiative -- known as the Inter-American E-Business Fellowship Program -- will be launched this fall with a pilot program involving 20 information technology managers from this hemisphere. Numerous U.S. companies, including Caterpillar Inc. of Peoria, Illinois, Bell Helicopter Textron of Dallas, Texas, and General Electric Company of Stamford, Connecticut have expressed interest in participating in this program. 

"This program builds on President's Bush's goal of expanding educational exchanges that help develop human capital in the hemisphere. In particular, it will increase expertise in information technologies management and allow U.S. companies and their counterparts in Latin American and the Caribbean to strengthen their relationships," added Secretary Don Evans. "Greater efficiency and closer ties will lead to increased economic growth in our hemisphere."

The program will assist economic restructuring in Latin America and the Caribbean by introducing business executives to U.S. methods of innovation and management, and by creating a cadre of influential executives who are predisposed to doing business with the United States. It will also promote hemispheric economic integration, a common business culture, and cutting edge business practices that will enhance the Free Trade Area of the America's competitiveness in domestic and global markets. 

Under the Inter-American E-Business Fellowship Program, business professionals from industries throughout the hemisphere will be invited to participate in a program with U.S. businesses. This 5-6 week training program will match Latin American and Caribbean business professionals from a variety of industries with selected U.S. firms. The program will focus on traditional manufacturing, services, and high-tech sectors that use information technologies to improve efficiency and productivity, and to increase their customer base, emphasizing supply chain management and the integration of information technologies in "backroom" operations. 

To learn more about the program visit www.trade.gov/media



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