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Montevideo, May 24th 2024 - 16:39 UTC



Key cooperation deal between the US and Uruguay signed

Thursday, April 11th 2024 - 10:13 UTC
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“Uruguay is an ideal partner for the US in emerging technologies,” said Lago. Photo: Presidency of Uruguay “Uruguay is an ideal partner for the US in emerging technologies,” said Lago. Photo: Presidency of Uruguay

Uruguay and the United States signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Wednesday in Montevideo, whereby the two countries will create a working group on new technologies to deepen government-private cooperation. The South American country was found to be “an ideal partner” for the administration of President Joseph Biden.

The MOU establishes a bilateral action plan for the development and deployment of critical and emerging technologies in the areas of semiconductors, artificial intelligence, data flows, clean energy, telecommunications, cybersecurity, and biotechnology.

US Undersecretary of Commerce Marisa Lago said that this “is not just a signature” on paper, but should be a “powerful precedent” in international cooperation. “Uruguay is an ideal partner for the US in emerging technologies. Why? It has 90% internet connectivity, the highest in the Americas, electricity above 98%, generated with renewable resources. In the United States, we see this with envy and it is a goal we need to achieve,” she also explained.

Also attending the signing ceremony at the Foreign Ministry in the Uruguayan capital was US Ambassador Heide Fulton. The new agreement was the result of conversations between Biden and his Uruguayan colleague Luis Lacalle Pou in Washington in June last year.

“We have semiconductors, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and telecommunications, all topics that have to do with the digital revolution that is happening in the world,” Uruguayan Foreign Minister Omar Paganini stressed.

“We also have clean energy where Uruguay has a very outstanding track record worldwide, which involves the possibility of exporting renewable energies and taking a step further in our agro-industrial production chains; and finally biotechnology where Uruguay has an important potential in terms of the scientific community, but has the challenge of transforming this into an economically thriving sector,” he added.

“With the memorandum, we are opening up avenues of cooperation that will mean opportunities to develop our local capabilities and open markets,” he went on.

Uruguay's Industry Minister of Industry Elisa Facio also highlighted that the development of technologies will support Uruguay's second energy transition “with a focus on the green hydrogen industry and decarbonization.” She also welcomed the shared commitment to advancing innovation, sustainability, and addressing global challenges, which will contribute to the transition to a more sustainable and resilient future. “In a thriving innovative ecosystem, we propose to bring Uruguay to the forefront of the knowledge economy,” in a context of the country's leadership in terms of institutional and legal stability.

Lago went to Montevideo from Buenos Aires, where she had spent two days holding talks with officials of the Libertarian government of President Javier Milei to revamp trade with Argentina.

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