Negotiation for customs union concludes in June

The MINEC said that in the coming days it will present to parliament the protocol of accession to the process by Guatemala and Honduras.

The Ministry of Economy (MINEC) expects that negotiations for El Salvador’s accession to the customs union process, initiated by Guatemala and Honduras, will be concluded next June, according to the head of the portfolio, Luz Estrella Rodríguez.

The fourth round of negotiations began yesterday in San Salvador and will conclude next Friday. The customs union involves, in the first stage, the smooth passage of goods and, in the future, the free movement of persons and goods.

The official announced that in the next few days they will take El Salvador’s integration protocol to the Legislative Assembly. The official said she did not expect any setbacks within the parliament for approval.

“We don’t have any problem with this or the next legislature, because we are sure that the Legislative Assembly should assess things by the need of our country,” he said.

Rodriguez said the Salvadoran government is still making calculations to determine the investment that will have to be made to collect its customs duties. With the negotiation, around 70% of the products traded between these three countries will have easy passage through customs. The Minister of Economy clarified that exports and imports will always continue to be registered as such by the Central Reserve Bank (BCR).

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Among the advances, Rodriguez mentioned that El Salvador has considered designating as peripheral customs the International Airport of El Salvador Monsignor Oscar Romero, the port of Acajutla and the post located on the border of El Amatillo, in La Union. The remaining customs offices will function as integrated checkpoints, he said.

She said progress has been made on the list of products to be excluded from the negotiations, but because the round is underway, she could not give details of this list.

El Salvador has commissioned the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) with a study to estimate how much the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP, everything produced in the country in a year) will grow with the entry into force of the customs union.

Melvin Redondo, secretary general of the Secretariat for Economic Integration of Central America (SIECA), said that with the customs union of all countries the region will become the sixth largest economy in Latin America.

Source: La Prensa Gráfica

Martha Castellanos

Martha Castellanos

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