Remarks by Ambassador William H. Duncan at the “ThinkHUGE” Conference

April 18, 2023

* This is a courtesy translation. Only the original Spanish version should be considered authoritative.

This conference clearly demonstrates the high level of interest that exists on the part of the United States to find nearshoring opportunities in Central America.

The United States is the most important trading partner of the three countries represented here. But beyond that, we are also the most trusted business partner. We have a long history of promoting fair trade, transparency and respect for intellectual property rights. Our commitment to corporate social responsibility and compliance with international environmental and labor standards further distinguishes us from other competitors. Collaboration with the United States fosters sustainable and mutually beneficial relationships, ensuring the long-term success and stability of businesses and communities in the region.

Furthermore, for the United States this region is of immense benefit as well. The region’s proximity offers convenient market access, short shipping times, and easy communication in a friendly time zone. Dedicated, profitable labor offers significant savings, and the Central American Free Trade Agreement helps make this region even more competitive. Full integration of the North Central American Customs Union is advancing and will greatly speed up border crossing times, making it more profitable to invest in the region.

Of course, there are challenges in the region, however these are not insurmountable obstacles. There are already American companies that have invested successfully in these countries and as prosperity increases in these countries, the better the conditions will be.

The challenges facing the region can be overcome through sustained and inclusive economic growth: the kind of growth that fosters decent, well-paid jobs that enable and promote quality of life.

As partners, the United States stands ready to advance our common interest in supporting El Salvador’s efforts to expand economic opportunity and strengthen the investment climate. I encourage everyone here to take advantage of this conference to make connections and establish new business.

Thank you so much.