Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — With its strategic geographic location and ports and airports, El Salvador can be a gateway for Vietnamese goods to enter American markets, especially Central American, according to the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Speaking at a seminar on investment opportunities and trade development with El Salvador in HCM City on August 29, Võ Tân Thành, director of VCCI’s HCM City branch, said Việt Nam and El Salvador only established diplomatic ties in 2010.
Trade between the two countries increased from US$10 million in 2011 to nearly $30 million last year, with garment and textiles, footwear, electronic products, timber, plastics and automobile components being the key items of trade, he said.
El Salvador is a small country in Central America with an area of 21,000sq.km and a population of nearly seven million, he said.
“The El Salvador market is small but has a lot of potential and can lead to other large markets like the US and other countries that it has free trade agreements with.”
El Salvador’s Deputy Foreign Minister Carlos Castaneda said this is the most cost-competitive country to set up and operate a business.
UK newspaper Financial Times’s investment journal fDi Intelligence has rated El Salvador as the most cost-effective country in Central America.
It also has among the lowest tax rates in the region, Castaneda said.
Besides recognition as a cost-effective location, its infrastructure is among the best in Latin America and Central American, he said.
Its modern infrastructure connects the main cities in the region and enables efficient logistics, he said.
“In terms of trade openness, we offer preferential access to a potential market of 1.2 billion consumers in 43 countries around the world.”
Its strategic geographic location enables quick access to major American cities, with many major freight companies like DHL and UPS setting up operations in the country, he said.
As part of its commitment to attracting investment, El Salvador offers attractive tax incentives and has a legal framework that facilitates and guarantees the protection of investment because the country is interested in developing long-term relationships with investors, he said.
“We invite you to explore El Salvador’s attractive investment opportunities in strategic sectors like aeronautics, agro industry, energy, light manufacturing, offshore business services, specialised textiles and apparel, and tourism.”
Việt Nam’s fruits like dragon fruit have great potential to be exported to El Salvador since it does not have them, he said, adding, “I am striving to create conditions for developing a market for this fruit in El Salvador.”
In addition, El Salvador’s long coastline offers a good opportunity for Vietnamese firms to invest in aquaculture and seafood processing and export to third countries.
The same day, El Salvador opened an honorary consulate in HCM City to promote investment and trade ties between the two countries. — VNS