July 4, 2018 / 1:37 AM / 18 days ago

Chile's Pinera to meet CEOs of Amazon, Alphabet next week

Santiago (Reuters) - Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said on Tuesday that he plans to meet with the chief executives of Amazon.com Inc and Alphabet Inc next week to enlist their support for helping the South American nation make technological progress.

FILE PHOTO: Chile's President Sebastian Pinera speaks after a meeting with Brazilian President Michel Temer at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil April 27, 2018. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

Pinera said he plans to talk with several tech leaders at the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference in Idaho, in the Western United States, next week as part of his July 6-11 international tour, which also includes visits to Jamaica, Costa Rica and Panama.

“We have meetings with the main leaders and pioneers in technological advances, such as (Alphabet’s) Larry Page and (Amazon’s) Jeff Bezos, and many more,” Pinera told journalists at the presidential palace.

“I hope to commit these people and companies to help Chile make a great leap forward in science and technology,” he added.

Amazon and Alphabet, the parent company of Google Inc, did not immediately respond to requests for comment outside regular working hours.

Amazon has been evaluating opening a regional data center in Chile or Argentina, two of the largest economies in South America. Both countries have been courting investment from the cloud computing and e-commerce company.

Pinera met with the vice president of Amazon Web Services in May. The executive, Teresa Carlson, said after the meeting that the company was looking to invest in Chile for the long term as part of a larger Latin American expansion plan.

Pinera, a conservative billionaire who took office for a second term in March, has said he hopes to convert Chile into a digital and information services platform for South America. The sector has received $18 billion in investment in the past decade, according to Telecommunications Ministry data.

Reporting by Antonio de la Jara; Writing by Mitra Taj; Editing by Leslie Adler

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