SAN JOSE -- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce intends to open its first-ever office in Silicon Valley, the business group said Tuesday, and some local experts think San Jose and Palo Alto are the leading choices for a site.

The Chamber says it's creating a Center for Advanced Technology & Innovation to better meet the needs of its tech members nationwide, and that the center will have offices in Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C.

"We're in the process of establishing this new chamber office in Silicon Valley to expand our engagement with high-tech industries on membership, policy issues, regulatory matters and international opportunities and challenges," David Chavern, president of the new center, said in an email. Chavern most recently was chief operating officer of the U.S. chamber.

Some local tech experts embraced the chamber's decision.

"Silicon Valley is a significant force not only in the tech world, but in the business world generally," said Tim Bajarin, principal analyst with Campbell-based Creative Strategies, a market researcher. "It is strange it has taken the chamber this long to acknowledge that. But better late than never."

A representative said the U.S. chamber hasn't yet chosen a city for the Silicon Valley location, and hasn't yet decided yet when the office will open. Recently, the U.S. Patent Office picked San Jose for its local operations.

"San Jose or Palo Alto would be the two cities that make the most sense to be in," said Rob Enderle, a San Jose-based tech market researcher. "Palo Alto because that's where most of the venture capitalists are located; San Jose because it is the largest city in the area and it is kind of central to all of the other tech cities."

Contact George Avalos at 408-859-5167. Follow him at Twitter.com/georgeavalos.