GOVERNOR PATRICK MEETS WITH CHILEAN BUSINESS LEADERS AND START UPS TO DISCUSS JOB GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES
VITACURA, CHILE – Friday, December 2, 2011 -- Governor Deval Patrick today addressed Chilean business leaders at the American-Chilean Chamber of Commerce and met with entrepreneurs at Start-Up Chile to explore job growth and partnership opportunities between Massachusetts and Chile in the innovation economy.
"We are here in Chile because we see an opportunity to strengthen and grow the relationship between Massachusetts and the world," said Governor Patrick. “I am confident that the relationships we are building today will lead to new jobs and investments in the Massachusetts and Chilean innovation economies.”
The meetings marked the second day of the Governor's Innovation Economy Partnership Mission in Chile, which began December 1 with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Governor Patrick and Chilean President Sebastián Piñera, focusing on growing jobs in clean energy, biotechnology and education.
The American-Chilean Chamber of Commerce works regularly with the Chilean Government and the U.S. Embassy to promote cross border business ties between the two countries. Massachusetts and Chile currently enjoy a $118 million bi-lateral trade relationship, with $62 million in Massachusetts exports to Chile, which is regularly ranked as one of Latin America’s best places for doing business.
Governor Patrick continued the day meeting with Chilean entrepreneurs at Start-Up Chile, a program created by the Chilean Government that provides early-stage high-potential entrepreneurs with seed capital, time and space to develop their projects. In 2010 alone, Start-Up Chile brought 22 startups from 14 countries to Chile, providing them each with $40,000 of equity-free seed capital and one-year visas to develop their projects.
Governor Patrick will conclude the day by traveling to Valle de Edqui for an economic development tour with both U.S. Ambassador to Chile Alejandro Wolff and Ambassador of Chile to the U.S. Arturo Fermandois.
On Thursday, Governor Patrick delivered remarks at an official luncheon hosted by Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Fernando Schmidt; attended a meeting with Minister of Energy Rodrigo Alvarez; and participated in a discussion session with the President of the National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research Jose Miguel Aguilera.
From December 4-9, 2011, the Innovation Economy Mission will make stops in Brasilia, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, visiting Brazilian companies, universities and government leaders to highlight all that Massachusetts has to offer to Brazil. The mission will focus on creating jobs in the life sciences, IT, clean energy, financial services and education sectors, while solidifying the already strong Massachusetts-Brazil connection.