United States and El Salvador Sign Memorandum of Understanding to Implement “América Crece”
January 30, 2020
The government of the United States, with the objective of promoting economic development in Latin America, signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of El Salvador to begin the implementation of the America Crece (Growth in the Americas) program. One of the objectives of the agreement is to foster job creation and jumpstart economic growth by facilitating urgently needed infrastructure projects. The memorandum of understanding was signed today by U.S. Ambassador Ronald Johnson and Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexandra Hill Tinoco, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) Chief Executive Officer Adam Boehler, and Minister of the Economy Maria Luisa Hayem, and was witnessed by Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele.
Based on this agreement, El Salvador and the United States will establish a working group to identify specific investment opportunities in the generation of energy and infrastructure projects. A key approach to this cooperation will be to address political, legal, regulatory, institutional and market barriers in order to stimulate private sector investment. This will enable El Salvador to achieve its energy and infrastructure priorities. The United States will provide technical training and facilitate exchange processes with energy and infrastructure experts. It will also promote business collaboration and exchange of market information.
In 2019, the DFC, formerly the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), announced the financing and construction of Energia del Pacifico: a 378 Megawatt liquefied gas plant, a floating storage, regasification unit, and a transmission line of approximately 44 kilometers. This investment of over $1 billion will strengthen the country’s electricity grid and improve air quality. Located in Acajutla, Sonsonate, Energia del Pacifico is a flagship project under the umbrella of America Crece. The plant will begin operations by the end of 2021.
America Crece is an initiative of the United States Government aimed at catalyzing private sector investment in infrastructure in Latin America and the Caribbean. This whole-of-government approach channels the resources and experience of many United States Government agencies into a coordinated effort to help countries attract private sector investment. In addition to the agreement signed today with El Salvador, the United States has signed official memorandums of understanding on America Crece with Argentina, Chile, Jamaica, Colombia and Panama.