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El Salvador promotes reforms to attract more investment

El Salvador projects an economic growth of 4% for 2022 with the implementation of investment programs, law reforms, legal security and technology to attract investment, informed the Minister of Economy, María Luisa Hayem.

In this sense, the State portfolio unveiled the “Trade Facilitation” program, since according to Hayem, more than 380 procedures that were an “obstacle to investment” have been identified. The initiative contains 26 measures and involves 13 government institutions.

Likewise, he informed that Economía is working on the “Investment Facilitation” program, which seeks to eliminate procedures, discretionalities and corruption that used to occur in ministries and autonomous agencies.

He also announced that they are working on the Free Zones Law, which is awaiting approval in the Legislative Assembly, as well as reforms to the Investment Law to allow operations with bitcoin as legal tender and reforms to the International Services Law.

“President Nayib Bukele is emphatic that all actions taken in this administration generate that growth that translates into concrete benefits for the entire population. We are seeing a significant interest of new companies that will be established in the country for investment in different sectors and that is why the work we are doing is important,” said Hayem.

The official also informed that they are eliminating requirements that used to be barriers for technology companies and announced non-refundable financing for those investing in this area.

Also in technology, she added that they are promoting the use of tools such as Chivo wallet and other wallets that give Salvadorans the opportunity to accumulate wealth and invest.

She also announced the expansion of the cargo terminal of the International Airport, which, according to Hayem, will become the first public-private partnership to take place in the country and will increase three times the airport’s cargo capacity.

The Minister of Economy also announced that by 2022, the Government will invest $1.5 billion in public infrastructure in projects such as the Los Chorros viaduct, the Pacific Airport, improvements to border accesses and economic integration efforts with countries in the region.

“There is an important integration project with Guatemala and Honduras to ensure that transports carrying goods can pass through the borders only by showing a QR code to facilitate the exchange of goods in investment,” he said.

He also indicated that the injection of liquidity through the Trust for the Economic Recovery of Salvadoran Companies (Firempresa), which has benefited more than 60,000 companies and entrepreneurs, will continue.

“The commitment is that this is not an isolated effort, but that we continue to provide opportunities from public banks and that private banks also take an active role in injecting that liquidity,” he said.

Regarding the growth figures for 2021, the Minister of Economy reported a growth of 10.3%. She also highlighted the recovery of 100 % of the jobs that were lost due to the pandemic in 2020, and that to date, the generation of jobs has exceeded 70 %.

In terms of exports, he stated that they increased by approximately 32 %, and reached figures that exceeded $6.6 billion, remittances reached $7.5 billion, equivalent to 26.8 %, while imports increased by 47 %.