US Ambassador to Argentina Noah Mamet will travel to California, US on Sunday alongside 25 Argentine officials and businesspeople to visit a dozen companies in the technology, innovation and alternative energy sectors. The trip is meant to promote the newly announced “BA Valley,” a space designed to encourage Argentine entrepreneurship and tech start-ups in Silicon Valley.
“It will be a historic journey in which we will be able to build ties,” said Mamet in a press conference, adding that this is the first time that a US ambassador leads a group this large.
At the end of April, the Buenos Aires City Modernization Ministry announced that it would be spearheading the development of BA Valley, with the idea being that Argentine start-up companies could network and develop their businesses alongside the likes of Google, Facebook and other tech giants.
The decision to go to California is due to several reasons. The US state is a front runner in the 21st-century technology, innovation and renewable energy revolution. In Los Angeles for example, it is predicted that in two or three years’ time, half of the city’s energy will be provided by solar or wind power. In California as a whole, it is hoped that this will take eight to 10 years. “We are learning about what works and what doesn’t,” affirmed Mamet. “For this reason I believe we can work together with Argentina with regards to renewable energy.”
The five-day tour will cover Los Angeles, Silicon Valley and San Francisco where the group will pay visits to Berkshire Hathaway Energy holding company (which owns Solar Star, the largest solar park in the world), Tesla Energy, Bloom Energy, Singularity University, Solar Reserve (a renewable energy company that supplies parts of Las Vegas) and Argentine companies Globant and Satellogic, both of which have offices in San Francisco. Additionally, they will visit the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) in an effort to promote the creative industries.
“It is likely that there will be investments and trade agreements, but we have to see how these will be made. Our mission is to form relationships and … and encourage businesses to do business here,” sustained Mamet.
There has been much emphasis on the development of new relations between Argentina and the US since US President Barack Obama signed a commerce and investment agreement when he visited here in March. Meanwhile, the focus on technological development has been made possible after Argentina recently lifted itself out of default following the payment of vulture funds and other bondholders, which has now allowed for international investment. At the end of April, Mamet announced that investment by US companies “was going to reach about US $16 billion if market conditions continued.”
Accompanying Mamet will be Science and Technology Minister Lino Barañao; Secretary of Renewable Energy Sebastián Kind; Buenos Aires City Vice-Secretary of Creative Economy Silvia Torres Carbonell and the Argentine Ambassador to the US, Martín Lousteau. Representatives from INVAP, YPF, Incutec (Incubator of Technology Projects in Córdoba), Red Innova (together with the Bank of Bridge Investment), the Saldívar Institute and the Chamber of Software and Information Services (CESSI) will also be in attendance.
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