Viewing cable 09REYKJAVIK207, POTENTIAL TRAVEL TO U.S. BY SENIOR ICELANDIC OFFICIALS IN
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|09REYKJAVIK207||2009-11-18 16:04||2011-01-13 05:05||UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY||Embassy Reykjavik|
VZCZCXYZ0000 PP RUEHWEB DE RUEHRK #0207 3221606 ZNR UUUUU ZZH P 181606Z NOV 09 FM AMEMBASSY REYKJAVIK TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4223 RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
UNCLAS REYKJAVIK 000207 SIPDIS SENSITIVE TREASURY FOR MYERS AND NORTON NSC FOR HOVENIER E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON EFIN IC SUBJECT: POTENTIAL TRAVEL TO U.S. BY SENIOR ICELANDIC OFFICIALS IN 2010 ¶1. (SBU) Several high-level GOI officials have expressed interest in traveling to the U.S. in early 2010 to meet with officials at counterpart agencies. A visit prior to January is unlikely, as the government lacks the money to finance a trip at the moment and officials are finalizing the 2010 budget. However, possible visits by the Minister of Finance, the Central Bank Governor, and the Minister of Economic Affairs might take place in January or February. ¶2. (SBU) Central Bank Governor Mar Gudmundsson and Finance Minister Steingrimur Sigfusson told the Charge d'Affaires (CDA) separately that they would like to discuss options for addressing Iceland's economic and fiscal challenges with their appropriate counterparts in Washington as well as the IMF. Minister of Economic Affairs Gylfi Magnusson told CDA that he would like to consult with U.S. experts about how to restructure the banking system going forward and to learn more about where the U.S. system is today and where it is headed. (Note: We expect that Gudmundsson and Sigfusson would travel together, but it is unclear whether Magnusson would go with them or separately. End Note.) ¶3. (SBU) Comment. Post strongly supports the idea of a GOI delegation visiting the U.S. for consultations. This would be an excellent opportunity to build upon strong bilateral relations and to provide public support for Iceland's economic recovery. Meetings with officials at the Departments of State and Treasury, and Federal Reserve as well as with other banking regulators, would be useful. In addition, post would recommend a meeting highlighting the positive economic impact of data centers in Northern Virginia. Iceland is currently looking at this industry as one way to diversify its economy, but at the same time is struggling to create an attractive foreign investment framework that would encourage this diversification. End comment. WATSON