The Customs integration process between Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador moves forward

Salvadoran authorities from the Ministries of Economy and Finance participated, along with their counterparts from Guatemala and Honduras and representatives of the General Secretariat of the Central American Economic Integration System (Sieca), in the High-Level Meeting of the Deep Integration Process between the three nations.

At the meeting, the roadmap for the incorporation of El Salvador was presented and the Minister of Economy, María Luisa Hayem, highlighted the commitment of the Government of President Nayib Bukele to promote the facilitation of Central American trade, where the Northern Triangle constitutes the 48% in the region, which translated to $6,238 million in 2021.

“El Salvador maintains a firm commitment to the deep integration process, which will bring significant benefits to our populations,” said Hayem.

For her part, the general director of Customs, Samadhy Martínez, pointed out that “deep integration implies that customs posts and processes will work for the three countries at the same time, instead of doing the process country by country.”

This new customs dynamic also represents a significant reduction for businessmen who use the system and who in the past faced the obstacle of customs without homologation of procedures and will help “expedite trade and make the Central American region more competitive and a benchmark on an international scale,” added Martínez.

During Bukele’s administration, foreign trade operations have achieved a historically positive performance, with a growth of 17% as of May this year, compared to the accumulated movement of the first five months of last year.

According to the authorities, this is due to internal efforts to eliminate bureaucracy, facilitate commercial procedures, and a more productive relationship with the business sector.

Minister Hayem reported that, in the specific case of Guatemala, the Salvadoran Government plans to generate several projects, such as the creation of a new trade route with Guatemala and that as part of this initiative, the Ministry of Public Works (MOP) has already is building multiple works in the west of the country.

Among these works is the construction of the commercial route between El Salvador and Guatemala, La Magdalena-El Coco, which will cover an estimated 14 kilometers. There is also the reconstruc

tion of the road to Las Chinamas (more than 30 kilometers), the rehabilitation of the road from kilometer 5 to La Hachadura (43 kilometers), and the construction of the Manuel José Arce international bridge (160 meters).