Private investment in El Salvador reached $5.29 billion in 2021

The plans of the government of President Nayib Bukele to stimulate private investment progressively generate results, with the respective effect of the creation of more jobs.

In three years of management, it has been possible to accumulate achievements in relation to investments. In 2021, private projects reached a historical amount of $5.29 billion, which came to have a participation of 18.4% in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

In this sense, the government affirmed that said participation in the GDP represented the highest percentage since 1960. That is $1,441 million more than in 2020, which corresponds to 15.7% of the GDP this year.

The 2021 growth in private sector investment in El Salvador was mainly related to the reactivation of delayed investments from 2020 as well as construction permits paused since 2017 and the recovery in exports, imports, and remittances, indicates a publication by Forbes Central America.

The data was also recently supported by the Salvadoran Foundation for Economic and Social Development (Fusades).

In addition, government authorities have reported that, after 14 years, El Salvador has finally started developing new free zones: one in Acajutla (Sonsonate) and another in San Juan Opico (La Libertad).

Another new investment in the textile sector is Decotex, from the Tegra Group, which announced that this year it will open some 500 more jobs after materializing its expansion plans in 5,500 more square meters in its industrial buildings located in American Park, in Ciudad Arce, La Freedom.

In this regard, the Minister of Economy, María Luisa Hayem, said that in each new free zone, between 25 and 30 companies can be installed, generating an economic spillover and job creation. In that sense, being long-term investments, she ratifies that businessmen trust in the direction of the country.

Also in 2021, President Bukele announced an investment of $1 billion in Acajutla for the Energía del Pacífico natural gas plant, the largest private project in the history of El Salvador, which was carried out thanks to the streamlining of procedures promoted by the government.

«These are concrete facts. It shows that we are on the right track. In 2022 we will continue to reduce red tape, generating an increasingly better investment climate and more employment opportunities,» the Strategic Projects Commissioner, Cristian Flores, recently specified.

Actions to attract new partners

On the other hand, Minister Hayem explained that the government is preparing more actions to continue attracting partners to the country, with an emphasis on the technology and innovation sectors.

«We are putting a lot of emphasis on reforms. We are going to modernize the legal framework. We want to facilitate services to the population and businesses, but also improve incentives», she stressed.

The updating of the legal instruments is part of the long-term actions that complement the others that are having an immediate impact, such as trade facilitation and the elimination of bureaucracy.

In the case of the incentives for potential investors, the official gave more details on how they are preparing the legal instruments. «This law contemplates giving benefits to startups that have an important technology component, and we are going to propose incentives for accelerators, incubators, and companies that invest in these projects, since they have high potential for growth,» she commented.

In a complementary manner, the government maintains programs aimed at eliminating the digital divide and expanding access to technology, especially for those who make up the segment of the population that generates national wealth through their work.