Pork Processing Facility Groundbreaking
Ambassador Jean Manes
Thursday, November 30, 2017, 10:00 A.M., San Juan Opico
Remarks by Ambassador Jean Manes at the Slaughter Facility Groundbreaking
November 30, 2017
* This is a courtesy translation. Only the original Spanish version should be considered authoritative.
I remember when I came to El Salvador a little over a year and a half ago, I heard about this pig project. When I was receiving all the information about what was pending, about the possible projects we had for El Salvador, I heard about this pig project.
Every two weeks I was asking for information about how it was going because we were in year seven of negotiations. I think it’s been more than that, I think it’s taken almost ten years to get to this moment. And I thought: this can not be. When we have so many needs, when we have so many possibilities. It can not be that we wait ten years to achieve something.
What can we do? We need to find the way, we need to find a way to move this project forward in the short term.
Finally we are here.
Normally, I don’t like to come to these groundbreaking events. I like to go when it’s already working, when we already have employees doing their job. I can not wait for the day when this place is open and I can try your first product that I have been told are going to be pork pupusas.
This is really a very important achievement and it shows that when there is a will on behalf of everyone, there are no limits. There are no limits for El Salvador, because the abilities already exist.
We can not wait ten years. Every day is an opportunity, but everyday we lose in paperwork, we lose in other things, in reality, what we lose are susceptible young people because there is no work. We are losing families, because they emigrate to the United States or other countries to find a way to provide money for their families. Every day counts. Seven years, ten years, it’s too much.
Every day we have to think: what can we do today to facilitate trade? What can we do today to reduce red tape? What can we do today to facilitate export? Because for a country as small as El Salvador, as it is for the other small countries in the world, the market is outside. And if your market is outside, the question is how can El Salvador achieve international standards for exports? That is truly going to create more jobs in this country. And when there is the will to work together, to really make things easier, it is possible to achieve moments like today. And I can’t wait to try the first pork pupusa to be exported to the United States.
During the conference in Miami this past June, together with the presidents of Honduras and Guatemala, Vice President Ortiz of El Salvador and Vice President Pence of the United States, as well as other countries in the region and outside the region, we reached an agreement, to focus on three things: the first two were to generate employment and fix the customs system. These two areas are related to youth and the future of the countries. In this we have to collaborate, this was the decision we made in Miami with the other two countries.The third area that was determined was energy. How can you increase your energy capacity and lower your cost, so that companies can have access to better, cheaper energy.
These three things have to do with competitiveness. Competitiveness not only within El Salvador and the region but also internationally speaking.
This step we are taking today is so important for the future of this country and on behalf of the United States we are very happy to participate. Very happy to collaborate and we will continue to be by your side.
But we also have expectations. We expect that more companies of this type will be created. We have expectations beyond the pig project. We have expectations with fish, chicken, coffee, cocoa. Agriculture is essential to grow the economy but always with a view to export to the market outside the country. But for that we need everyone’s collaboration.
To work in the customs systems, in the paperwork, in the permits, in all the processes that you know better than me. But it is possible, and today’s event shows that if there’s a will, there’s a way.