Tuesday, July 15, 2008

El Salvador officials urge expats to invest

Local officials from El Salvador are touring communities of Salvadorans living abroad, looking for investment in local communities as described in this story in the Boston Globe:

Nearly a dozen mayors, city councilors, and town administrators from the Central American nation swept through Massachusetts during the past two weeks to urge immigrants to invest in their homelands, create jobs, and - ultimately - prevent Salvadorans from having to immigrate to the United States for work.

About 1 million Salvadorans now live in the United States, including more than 17,000 in Massachusetts. The mayors are reaching out directly to émigrés as part of a new government-sponsored program, asking them to form committees or invest on their own.

Salvadoran immigrants already send home $3.3 billion a year, and nearly 30 percent of adults in El Salvador depend on the money to cover basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter, according to the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington. The money helped transform cities and towns, turning shantytowns into freshly painted neighborhoods and allowing children to stay in school.

"It's helped to improve their homes," said Jorge Alberto Argueta, a former mail carrier who was elected mayor of the town of Santo Domingo 18 years in a row because he swiftly, and honestly, delivered immigrants' checks to anxious hands. "Now we need for them to invest in businesses." (more)

Remittances are more than one sixth of El Salvador's economy, and local officials want to channel some of it into investing in projects which will produce more growth in El Salvador rather than just consumer spending.


interested said...

Interesting isn't it that the government wants investment here in El Salvador. There are companies that want to or have invested here and can't get to first base. what guarantees do the people living in the exterior have they won't get ripped off like the companies that already invested in good faith?

How interesting that the "small" government officials (mayors) can see the value of programs of investment that the central govrenment can't see. But I agree totally that expat investment is one of the surest ways to bring the level of investment up in the infrastructure of the country. Those in the central government are only interested in lining their pockets and it will never trickle down to the local level. There needs to be investment by local companies or groups focused in specific areas.

Anonymous said...

Where is our right to vote abroad?
ARENA wants our money while we are excluded from political participation.

El-Visitador said...

Expats should be extremely wary of investing in El Salvador. Any investment is subject to immediate and ruinous theft by the government.

1. The government tried to rob Coastal. Coastal sued in international arbitration, the government lost.

2. The government is trying to rob La Geo, the italians who have invested over $100 million in clean, renewable geothermal power.

3. The government let the gold investors spend over $50 millions in El Salvador, then simply failed to issue the permits it must by law. Essentially robbed them blind.

4. The government arbitrarily shut down and caused the bankruptcy of the company that used to recycle 70% of all lead batteries in El Salvador in a famously flawed case.

One must be extremely brave and have millions to spend on international lawyers to even have a chance in El Salvador.