Contact the Central American Group to begin starting up a manufacturing facility in Costa Rica in the Green Park Free Zone.
The Central American Group: Hello, welcome to our podcast. Today, we have Christian Navas with us. Christian is with a group that has recently been formed in El Salvador called Invest El Salvador. I’ll let Christian introduce himself and tell us a little bit about his organization and investment opportunities in El Salvador.
Christian Navas: Thank you, Stephen. I appreciate your having me here on your podcast. I’m really happy to share all the good news that is happening right now in El Salvador. I know that it will be interesting to potential investors and companies that are seeking to invest in new opportunities in the region and, in particular, investment opportunities in El Salvador.
Well, my name is Christian Navas. I am a specialist in the investment attraction, specifically in agribusiness. I came from the capital raising banks. That is my experience. But recently, I learned about this opportunity to attract potential investments to El Salvador and decided to join it. This is thanks to the government of El Salvador, of course. Invest in El Salvador is the name of the agency that is seeking to promote the investment attraction of foreign companies that might be interested in investing in El Salvador. We want to create opportunities to achieve the soft landing of companies interested in investing in El Salvador.
The Central American Group: Okay, well, maybe you can expand upon what you see as being the sectors that hold promise for investors.
Christian Navas: For example, here in El Salvador, we have a lot of opportunities for different types of companies that might be interested in coming here. We have some focuses, objectives, and sectors that we are interested in attracting these opportunities. One is tourism. We also have manufacturing. Other investment opportunities in El Salvador exist in textile manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, energy, and services. Inside services include everything related to blockchain, bitcoin, BPOs, technological services, and agribusiness, which is my sector. All these sectors are being promoted by Invest in El Salvador.
We are also looking to promote logistics in the coming months because we believe the country has a lot of benefits and advantages on that front. Basically, those are the sectors. Now, regarding agribusiness, we are looking to promote everything related to food safety, cold change, logistics, food logistics, agriculture that will be vertical farming, and all this large extension agriculture.
The Central American Group: I understand that the law governing free zones in your country has recently changed, allowing companies engaged in food processing activities to locate and derive the benefits from free zones. Is that true? And if so, can you tell us a bit about that?
Christian Navas: Well, the free zone law has changed on many fronts, including financial fronts and economic fronts, but also in law. The President has mandated a review of all the laws regarding doing business in the country. One of the recent changes was regarding International Service Law and to the free trade zones that we have in the country. The free trade zone law has changed and now includes food processing, aquaculture, and other services and products that can be manufactured inside these zones. This will enable the country to be more competitive and create more investment opportunities in El Salvador with companies that work in this industry to actually do the manufacturing here. Free zones in El Salvador are free of taxes for importing raw materials. They are free of taxes in the export of their finished products that are now manufactured. They have a lot of tax benefits regarding their profits and the investment of new machinery and all that. So yes, it’s a really great opportunity for companies in industry that are interested in the manufacturing sector.
The Central American Group: Another sector I read about is technology. Your president and your legislature, I believe, have implemented some laws that incentivize investment in technology in your country. Is that true as well?
Christian Navas: Yeah. El Salvador is actively promoting innovation in all sectors. We want to be an innovation and technological hub for the region. We want to be considered by other countries as a destination for research institutions, technology transfer programs, research, and labs engaged in innovation and technology programming software. We are making a lot of changes not only in the law to attract these companies to come here because they actually, in that way, have a lot of tax benefits.
The country has zero taxes for the companies installing their headquarters, doing business in El Salvador, and providing services internationally. But also, the country is focusing on its educational system. In that way, we can promote skills in technology to all the young people in schools, both public and private, and universities. There are a lot of efforts occurring regarding technology and innovations that can benefit companies regarding taxes and also benefit the population.
The Central American Group: What would the investment climate be like if you were to look into the future in the coming years? And what factors make El Salvador a good choice for people who are looking at investment through a long-term telescope, let’s say?
Christian Navas: I believe in El Salvador, and that’s one of the reasons I joined this project. I believe El Salvador is changing dramatically for the better and that there are many investment opportunities in El Salvador. For example, in recent years, the criminals and all this killing that El Salvador was famous globally has been reduced to almost zero. The good thing about it is that it allows people to do more. We now have parks and venues with people walking at different times during the night in safety. We are having a lot of safety, actually. We feel it in the street, and we feel it in the quality of life that also has helped to focus all the effort to open to new opportunities regarding technology and to promote and take advantage of our strategic location in Central America.
We want to be a service provider to the world. We want to be the innovation and technological hope in all the sectors that we mentioned before. We want to be considered by other countries as an opportunity to actually do all the innovation the world needs. Suppose we actually achieve that positioning and actually complete this project. In that case, I know that we will be a country that can add high value to products and services and, in the same way, be a sustainable country.
The Central American Group: You mentioned earlier when we were talking offline about this is that one of the things that you mentioned was El Salvador in terms of travel for people in the US. Between major cities in the US. To El Salvador. What is the time it takes to get to and from El Salvador? Could you tell us about major cities and their approximate times of travel?
Christian Nava: El Salvador is looking to be a strategic logistic hub for companies in the United States and for companies in South America. For example, we are only 2 hours away from Miami by airplane. We are only four hours and a half to Los Angeles and almost 5 hours to New York. So, if you see, we are really closer to the major cities of the United States than some cities in the United States. For example, if you go from Los Angeles to Miami, it’s almost 6 hours. We are 2 hours away from Miami. So, there are opportunities for companies to actually do business here in Los Angeles, to have, for example, their e-commerce where they can do their storage. They can have all these services that they provide right now in the United States. They can take advantage of investment opportunities in El Salvador. We also have some companies from South America that are seeking to install their plants here in El Salvador to export to the United States to different cities. In that way, instead of sending one ship or airplane to Miami and distributing to the whole country, which is more expensive, they can send everything from El Salvador.
We do the manufacturing, labeling, and logistics to distribute all these cities faster, more efficiently, and economically.
The Central American Group: Well, it seems like there’s a lot going on in El Salvador that’s good. These days, after people listen to our podcasts, questions come up. If somebody who hears the information has questions that go beyond the scope of what we’ve spoken about, how can they contact you with their questions?
Christian Navas: They can contact to my personal email, my professional email, which is email@example.com. The GOB is not like we write it in English. It’s like in Spanish gob at the end. They can also go to the website www.investinelsalvador.gob.sv, and they can go to my LinkedIn page, which is Christian Navas, as it sounds. And I appear as a specialist investment attraction for Invest in El Salvador. They can write direct questions to me from there.
The Central American Group: We’ll put links to all these things in the transcript section of the webpage on which this will be published. Thank you very much today for filling us in on what’s going on in El Salvador. We wish you and the rest of your colleagues at Invest in El Salvador lots of luck going forward.
Christian Navas: Thank you. I appreciate the time to speak about El Salvador, and I invite investors to contact me or contact one of my colleagues who are also listed on the website. I know that we can provide a lot of help, a lot of connections, a lot of networking, and a lot of opportunities for companies to make their investments. That way, they can have a soft landing here in El Salvador.
The Central American Group: Thank you, and have a great rest of the day.
Christian Navas: Excellent. Take care. Bye.
Please use this form to contact us and we will respond as soon as possible: