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Salvador-US FTA Is Unsuccessful

Prensa Latina, Cuba

Salvador-US FTA Is Unsuccessful

5 March 2007

San Salvador, Mar 5 (Prensa Latina) The results of the free trade agreement between El Salvador and the United States are disappointing because at the end of 2006, export operations only grew 3.5 percent, economist Evelio Jesus Ruano adjudged on Monday.

Ruano, a specialist from the Salvadoran Sustainable Development Institute, regarded the agreement as disastrous, because it has failed in its attempt to jumpstart the economy, and has only succeeded in mumbles, especially in the agrarian sector.

Ruano explained that sales to other countries are too little, and below those of other Central American countries, and the trend points to lower levels.

In the particular case of El Salvador, exports were reduced to 12.95 percent, according to the Central Reserve Bank, and advantages were achieved only by the largest corporations.

Perspectives for Salvadoran finances are not inspiring for 2007, due to the risk of deceleration of US capital.

However, despite the bleak analysis, Economy Minister Yolanda de Gavidia Mayora considers local industry would be lost without the agreement with Washington.