Thursday, September 29, 2005

Ana Vilma de Escobar

Ana Vilma de Escobar, vice president of El Salvador, has been visiting South Carolina on a trade mission. She answered questions put to her by a South Carolina paper:


QUESTION: What are the greatest growth opportunities for El Salvador?

ANSWER: The biggest challenge we have in El Salvador now is economic growth. We have succeeded in stabilizing the country politically.

QUESTION: What areas of the economy do you expect to expand, and what are you hoping to find in your visits here?

ANSWER: We have identified strategic sectors. The first one is logistics and distribution. ... Textiles is also one of the most important sectors. We presently have 90,000 jobs in that. We’re seeking investments in textile mills to produce the fabric that we’re currently importing. We’re importing about 90 percent of the fabric we use in the region, so there’s a big opportunity there.

QUESTION: This is 25 years since the death of Archbishop Oscar Romero and more than a decade since the civil war ended. How has the country changed in terms of the social inequalities that existed 25 years ago?

ANSWER: We are convinced that in order to maintain political and economic stability, the social stability is at the base. ... President Saca has launched an important educational program and health program which is being funded with a tax based on liquor, cigarettes and beer. ... In the last 15 years, GDP (gross domestic product) has doubled, and we have succeeded in lowering poverty levels 30 points.

Notice that in two of her three answers she speaks in terms of "stability." That's not surprising rhetoric from a leader of a conservative party in power.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is there any way poverty levels could have declined 30 points? Ten seems more realistic, but that still doesn't provide a realistic picture of the last ten years in terms of poverty reduction.

Tim said...

No.

The Salvadoran government's own statistics say that povery has declined approximately 14% (from 50% to 36%) and that extreme poverty (less than $1 per day in income) has declined from about 28% to 14%. See my earlier post on these statistics.

And the government cannot really take credit for this, since half or more of the reduction comes from remittances sent home by Salvadorans living abroad.

Anonymous said...

El Salvador is far from her so called 'stability' since the people of El Salvador live in fear of the many gangs who rule the streets. The government of El Salvador and this woman are responsible for making that pig-president a richer man and also for fattening her own Swiss bank account. Sad that when these pigs retire they always retire to live in Miami or Europe. I think that if they were so proud of the work they do in El Salvador, they would all retire there. They have done nothing to improve the quality of life for the masses. And after yesterday's gun violence outside of the Universidad de El Salvador, it seems like the country is likely headed into another civil war. Not only do people live in fear of the gangs of criminal elements deported from the U.S. but also from the political oppression from the country's leaders. I am sad that such a beautifl country is run by such corruct leaders (pigs) who get richer by only doing commerce in areas like textiles, coffee, and other agricultural or labor related work, instead of investing in technology and other more intellectually driven areas to elevate the quality of life for the people of El Salvador. It is crusial that we question the validity and interests of a political party when the leader of a nations does not represent the interest of the people or even looks like the majority of the people whom he rules. He looks like a big fat Euro-pig.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,

I can appreciate your concern for the country, but you come across as someone who has ideology issues with the current government. You offer name-calling, and problems but you offer no solutions.
A solid economic plan is the only way to get a resource-poor and overpopulated country out of extreme property. No ideology that ignores global economics is going to do accomplish this.

"Give the man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man how to fish and he will eat for life..."

That said, I am afraid many salvadoran suffer from ideology overload and need that precious education. I think Economics 101 will go a long way...

Dave