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Basic Information

Area 21,040 km2
Capital San Salvador
Official Language Spanish
GDP per capita US$3,921.69
GDP US$ 26,797 million
Imports US$ 9,854.6 million
Exports US$ 5,335.3 million
Currency American dollar

Business Environment

The area of El Salvador is 21,040 square kilometers and the population is about 6.15 million rendering it the most densely populated country in Central America. It is bounded on the south by the Pacific, northwest by Guatemala bordered with Honduras on the east and north, located at the heart of Central America and only about 1000 kilometers from Miami in the US, which is good geographical advantage. Other advantages of El Salvador include democracy, stable economy, adaptation of dollars, good quality labor, geographical advantages, good roads, water and electricity infrastructure, bilingual talents, etc. which has a better image of business and environment in the Central American counties. The economic structure of El Salvador is moving towards the service sector. According to the data of the Central Bank of El Salvador, the GDP of agriculture and husbandry, industry and service sectors are 13%, 23% and 64% respectively. The main products in the agriculture and husbandry are coffee and sugar; the manufacturing sector is dominated by food processing, pharmaceutical products and textiles, and industries such as, general metal, plastics and machinery, just took off gradually. The service sector focuses on commerce, accommodation and food, financial service, distribution centers and call centers. In addition to the development of manufacturing sector, tourism and service sector, the government of El Salvador has also encouraged farmers to cultivate coffee, sugar, basic grains (maize, sorghum, rice and beans), and develop agro-processing industry and aquaculture in recent years. According to the Central Bank of El Salvador, El Salvador benefited from the second phase of Millennium Fund signed with the United States last year (2015) and increase of expatriate remittance (growth of 2.8% compared with 2014). The economic growth rate last year is expected to be 2.3%. The export of El Salvador last year (2015) was 5,408,490,000 dollars, a growth of 4% over the same period in 2014. The import was 10,415,400,000 dollars, down by 1% compared to the same period in the previous year. The trade deficit last year was 4,930,470,000 dollars which was a 6% decrease compared to the previous year. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL) pointed out that while the foreign investment in El Salvador in 2014 was increased to 275,000,000 dollars, growth of 53% over 2013, El Salvador’s foreign investment still was the lowest in the Central America in 7 consecutive years. It only accounted 3% of foreign investment in Central America in 2014. According to the data of the Central Bank of El Salvador, the total foreign investment in El Salvador from January to September 2015 was 255,500,000 dollar, 77% growth compared to the same period in 2014. According to forecast of the World Bank (WB), the economic growth rate of El Salvador this year (2016) will be 2.5%, and based on the estimate of CEPAL, the economic growth rate of El Salvador this year will be 2.4%. The key of the economic growth of El Salvador this year is whether the manufacturing sector can increase the export to the US, and what the performance of the public and private investment programs promoted by the government.

Top 10 import from El Salvador

Year: 2016
Code USD
(17011400004) Other cane sugar, not containing added flavouring or colouring matter 23,625,554  
(85322100006) Capacitors, tantalum 2,813,907  
(17019990904) Other sugar, refined 2,568,093  
(9011100007) Coffee, not roasted, not decaffeinated 2,129,288  
(47071000006) Recovered (waste and scrap) unbleached kraft paper or paperboard or corrugated paper or paperboard 1,810,181  
(72044990905) Other waste and scrap, of iron or steel 621,786  
85322400003) Capacitors, ceramic dielectric, multilayer 512,249  
(72042100005) Waste and scrap of stainless steel 386,411  
(39159000900) Waste, parings and scrap, of other plastics 348,553  
(52029900008) Other cotton waste 247,547  

Top 10 export to El Salvador

Year: 2016
Code USD
(39076000103) Poly(ethylene terephthalate), bottle grade-intrinsic viscosity 0.7 - 0.92, in primary forms 30,677,852  
(88024000006) Aeroplanes and other aircraft, of an unladen weight exceeding 15,000 kg 17,844,396  
(87089990002) Parts and accessories for other motor vehicles 2,121,027  
(85122011106) Electrical head-lighting and tail-lighting for motor vehicles 2,075,309  
(39021000902) Other polypropylene 1,985,868  
(39199090006) Other self-adhesive plates, sheets, film, foil, tape, strip and other flat shapes, of plastics, whether or not in rolls 1,696,454  
(87082990007) Other parts and accessories of bodies (including cabs), of the motor vehicles of headings Nos. 87.01 to 87.05 1,550,966  
(39031900001) Other polystyrene, in primary forms 1,523,077  
(84778000001) Other machinery of heading 84.77 1,454,640  
(22029090996) Other non-alcoholic beverages water, containing added sugar or other sweetening matter or flavoured (not containing dairy products) 1,329,915  


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