El Salvador - Country Commercial Guide
Market Opportunities

Overview of best prospect sectors, major infrastructure projects, significant government procurements and business opportunities.

Last published date: 2020-09-30

Best prospects for U.S. exports based on trade statistics, market analysis and interest from U.S. companies include: Agricultural Products, Design & Construction, Medical Equipment, Information Communications & Technology, Safety & Security Equipment, Energy, Education, Plastics, and Automotive sectors.

Additionally, the GoES has identified various infrastructure projects including roads, bridges, hospitals, waste and treatment facilities, ports and airports, logistics infrastructure and much more. The other opportunities which exist are in nine growth sectors: specialized textiles and apparel, offshore business services, tourism, aeronautics, agro-industry, medical devices, footwear manufacturing, logistic and infrastructural networks, and healthcare services.

OnSeptember 9, 2015, El Salvador’s second Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact entered into force. The five-year, USD $277 million Compact program – including an additional USD $88.2 million contributed by the GoES – is playing a key role in improving El Salvador’s business climate, productivity, and competitiveness in international markets through targeted investments in logistical infrastructure, regulatory reform, and human capital. Specifically, investments in El Salvador’s physical capital aim to reduce transportation and logistics costs while regulatory reform efforts and the availability of public-private partnerships (PPPs) look to strengthen the country’s institutions to attract international investors. Simultaneously, improvements in the quality of education aim to better match students’ skills with the demands of firms engaged in international trade.  The MCC Compact expired in September 2020.

The current pipeline of PPPs include projects to develop and manage the international airport’s Cargo Terminal, street lighting and video surveillance on the ring road around San Salvador, and a 43km toll road between a main port and the border with Guatemala.  The PPPs

offer U.S. companies the opportunity to compete in procurements to win concessions to finance, design, build, operate and/or maintain these projects, and/or to provide such projects with debt and/or equity financing.  These include projects to develop and manage the international airport’s Cargo Terminal, street lighting and video surveillance on the ring road around San Salvador, and a 43km toll road between a main port and the border with Guatemala. 

For additional information, companies are encouraged to consult the MCC website.