Ambassador Jean Manes
Tuesday, August 21, 2018 8:00 A.M., Walmart Santa Elena
Remarks by Ambassador Jean Manes at the Walmart Santa Elena Opening
August 21, 2018
* This is a courtesy translation. Only the original Spanish language text should be considered authoritative.
It is a great pleasure to be here today at the opening of Walmart Santa Elena. I remember how five months ago we were celebrating the first stone and now we see this finished work.
I am very proud that one block from the embassy – and my home – we will have this symbol of good investment. What is a good investment? A good investment is the one that achieves the development of the company as well as the community, in a transparent manner and with straightforward rules. Walmart is one of the most visible examples of how good investment benefits the community and the country.
With an investment of 20 million dollars, 300 new direct jobs have been generated, in addition to the 200 Salvadorans who carried out the construction of this new building, which was built by a national company. In addition, your business model includes getting local suppliers. Thanks to this, Walmart has achieved that 60% of its fruits and vegetables are grown in El Salvador. Through its Tierra Fertil program, they have helped 300 suppliers with training in the use of fertilizer, seed quality, staggered production throughout the year and irrigation system technologies to reduce the impact of climate change.
In 2017 alone, Walmart El Salvador acquired more than $ 3.8 million in products from small and medium-sized local businesses owned by Salvadorans. This translates into indirect jobs that do not benefit a single person or a single interest, benefit families and entire communities.
This is a business model that seeks long-term sustainability, both for your company and in the communities where it operates. Corporate social responsibility programs are an example of this approach. In the last 10 years, they have invested a total of 1.9 million dollars in social programs implemented nationwide, ranging from education to the environment. Only last month, Walmart carried out a reforestation campaign, in which volunteers planted 1,000 trees in the Bicentennial Park.
These are examples of a company that seeks to give back to the community it serves and that knows that only by investing in its people can it succeed. Walmart from the beginning has been willing to bet on El Salvador, and the opening of this new branch is proof of the confidence it has in the country and its commitment to continue supporting the development of El Salvador and all Salvadorans. This is Walmart’s way of investing, and it is the way of investing in American companies, an expression of our commitment to seek collaboration and mutual prosperity.
This type of business alliance promotes better quality processes, making companies and farmers more competitive in the international market and promoting good practices that distinguish them from their competitors.
Thank you for continuing to believe in El Salvador, for believing in Salvadorans, for being a link between our countries, and once again, many congratulations.