Taken at press conference
with ministers Jose Mujica, center, and
right, August 3, 2005.
U.S. Department of Commerce Deputy Assistant
Secretary for the Western Hemisphere, Walter Bastian, arrived
in Montevideo on Wednesday, August 3, to attend a number
of meetings with representatives of the Uruguayan government
and the private sector.
During his visit, Bastian met jointly with
the Uruguayan ministers for Industry - Energy and Mining,
Jorge Lepra, and for Livestock and Agriculture, Jose Mujica.
Following this meeting, the three officials held a press
conference for the local media where they explained proposals
for increased bilateral dialog on trade issues.
Bastian also met with the undersecretary
for Economy and Finance, Dr. Mario Bergara, and the president
of the Chamber of Commerce, Jose Luis Puig. Bastian later
spoke at a luncheon at the Sheraton Hotel sponsored by the
Uruguay - United States Chamber of Commerce. His topic was
"Negotiations: Where we are and what are the closest
Walter Bastian joined the U.S. Department
of Commerce in 1974, and has worked in various capacities
dedicated to developing economic and commercial ties with
In his current post, he is responsible for
development programs, policies and strategies designed to
strengthen the commercial position of the United States
in the Western Hemisphere.
He previoulsy headed the Office for Latin
America and the Caribbean, where he established and lead
the "Latin America/Caribbean Business development Center",
which was responsible for transforming the Caribbean Basin
Initiative, the Andean Tariff Preferences Law and the Initiative
for the Americas into business opportunities for American
Bastian was born in Washington D.C. His
father was a career diplomat, and as a youth, Bastian lived
in El Salvador, Cuba, Ecuador and Argentina. He attended
high school in Buenos Aires and later attended Georgetown
University. He graduated with a degree in International
Relations from Georgetown's College of Foreign Service.
Bastian has previously visited Uruguay in
an official capacity when he attended a conference on "Doing
Business between Mercosur and the United States" which
took place on September 25-26, 2000 in Montevideo.