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US creates digital attache posts in India and other countries

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2016,11:48 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Washington | The US has decided to create digital attache programme and appoint a new set of officials at its diplomatic missions in four countries including India.

We’ve just created a digital attache programme so that in ASEAN, Brazil, China, Japan, India and the European Union we’re going to have experts in the digital economy, US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker told reporters at the National Press Club here.

Christened digital attaches, these officials will work closely with US companies to overcome market barriers in the global digital economy. Digital attache responsibilities will include assistance in helping US companies increase exports, access the global online marketplace, and navigate digital economy policy challenges.

About USD 400 billion of USD services exports and the fastest part of American export services are digital products, Pritzker said. We dominate the world in digital products.

Our digital services exports are some of the fastest growing exports we have and what we want to do is make sure that our people are trained to address the digital economic issues in each of those countries or regions and that they could advance commercial diplomacy and drive policy change on technological issues and be at the front line for small and medium size businesses around the world, she said.

The Department of Commerce said while this programme is initially being launched as a pilot project, it builds upon the numerous resources the Commerce Department currently has in place to help US companies with the trade counselling, market intelligence, business matchmaking, and commercial diplomacy they need to connect with international business opportunities.

These digital trade officers will be charged with assisting US companies overseas through a number of official performance measures, including success in commercial diplomacy, trade barriers addressed, and the number of US clients assisted. As part of these responsibilities, the officers will work with US companies and officials in foreign markets, a statement said.

This initiative is part of Secretary’s Pritzker’s comprehensive effort to address 21st century trade barriers and help the digital economy to thrive, it said.

As part of this commitment the Department of Commerce convened a Digital Economy Leadership Team, with staff level working groups across the Department to address issues such as the free flow of information.

This digital attache announcement is an element of the Department’s broader strategic agenda to promote the digital economy, it said.