The new president of El Salvador officially took office in San Salvador on June 1st. Nayib Bukele is only 37 years old and the former mayor of the city of San Salvador. He wants to put an end to violence and poverty in the small Central American country.
Bukele surprisingly made it to the first round of the presidential elections in February. He steered the conservative candidates, breaking a trend from the past. He officially took office last Saturday. “Our country is like a sick child, and we all have to take care of it,” Bukele said when he was initiated into parliament.
IN ORDER TO COVER THE TRANSPORT SECTOR’S DEMAND FOR THE PERIOD 2016-2030, THERE NEEDS TO BE AN INVESTMENT OF AROUND 2.2% OF THE GDP ON INFRASTRUCTURE, BUT THE CENTRAL AMERICAN COUNTRIES ALLOCATE, ON AVERAGE, ONLY 1.8% OF THEIR GDP.
According to the study “Logros y desafíos de la integración centroamerican: aportes de la CEPAL” (Achievements and challenges for central-american integration: ECLAC Contributions), in between 2008 and 2015, Panama was the first country that reported a major average investment on transport infrastructure, 3.68% of their GDP. The second was Honduras with 2.21% of their GDP and following was Nicaragua with 1.99%.
The data also indicates an increase in investment in the Dominican Republic to 1.32% of their GDP, in Costa Rica an increase to 1.25%, to 1.23% in Guatemala and in El Salvador to 0.93%.
DUE TO THE FISCAL BENEFITS GRANTED LAST YEAR FOR THE IMPORT OF ELECTRIC CARS, THE NUMBER OF UNITS THAT ENTERED IN COSTA RICA GREW FROM 40 IN 2017 TO 350 IN 2018.
Last year the Law of Incentives and Promotion for Electric Transport came into force, which brought fiscal benefits to the importation of electric cars; benefits such as the exoneration of 50% to a 100% on taxes for sales, consumption and customs, according to the import value of each car.
Not all the units were brand new, according to data from the Ministry of Finance, from the 350 electric vehicles imported to Costa Rica in 2018, 33% of them were second hand.
A US$150 MILLION OPERATION WILL CONTRIBUTE TO INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY THROUGH THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE COUNTRY’S ROADS
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is investing $ 150 million in Guatemala to implement a program to improve and rehabilitate its road network.
The Guatemalan government is expected to launch auctions for the first projects soon.
This investment will serve to improve the quality of life of Guatemalans and the economic productivity of the country.
Costa Rica has set out to lay the foundations of the new Costa Rican economy of the 21st century by creating a positive, innovative and inspiring vision of the future. An economy that responds to changes in the global context, moving towards a green economy, which promotes the sustainable use of natural resources.
Although the transition to a low-emission economy requires a profound transformation, it is worth noting that Costa Rica has made important progress in previous decades, including an electrical grid that is over 95% free of emissions and a very low rate of deforestation, with a forest cover that exceeds 52% of its territory.
However, the challenges are important and require transformational efforts, such as the development and implementation of one of the few decarbonization strategies in the world with short and long-term goals.
On April 1st 2019, Joost Visser and Nicolas Mathieu attended a trade mission organized by Euracen. The event was introduced by Her Excellency Julia Villatoro, who reminded us how Belgium, Euracen and local partners were important for the development of the coffee supply chain of El Salvador.
Belgium is indeed the 3rd coffee trading partner of El Salvador (7.9% of the trade) after the United States (42.8%) and Germany (14.9%).
Board Director of the Salvadoran Coffee Council, Ricardo Esmahan, gave a comprehensive presentation of the challenges of the Salvadoran Coffee Industry and solutions that were envisioned to overcome them in order to become a reference in terms of qualitative, environmentally friendly and socially sustainable coffee production.