LatinNews Daily - 13 November 2023

In brief: US and El Salvador boost digital policy ties

* US Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Marisa Lago, who began a week-long visit to El Salvador and Costa Rica on 8 November, and El Salvador’s Economy Minister María Luisa Hayem, have issued a statement on their governments’ shared commitment to deepening cooperation on digital policy issues. According to the statement, the two countries are seeking to collaborate to realise “El Salvador’s aspirations to become a regional technology hub through pursuing a sound digital regulatory environment and improving the overall business climate”. The statement, which follows a digital policy workshop held on 9 November, identifies means of enhancing bilateral cybersecurity cooperation. It adds that the two sides “explored ways to share best practices and approaches such as the NIST [US National Institute of Standards and Technology, a US government agency] Cybersecurity Framework and promote cybersecurity opportunities to help private sector and government organizations secure critical networks and data”. It adds that both countries will work together to “ensure the security and resilience of our telecommunications networks, including by building a diverse supply chain and influencing the development of future telecommunications technologies such as 6G”. Lago is visiting the two countries to “advance bilateral partnerships to foster increased trade and investment, strengthen the business environment and promote US company solutions for digital opportunities in Latin America”, according to an official press release. Her visit to El Salvador follows a meeting last month in San Salvador between Brian Nichols, the assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs, and President Nayib Bukele, whose dismantling of democratic institutions has previously drawn US condemnation.

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