The United States and El Salvador have agreed to implement President Barack Obama's Partnership for Growth Initiative and make abundantly clear the commitment of both governments to promoting sustainable, broad-based economic growth.
In a ceremony that took place at the Presidential Palace in San Salvador, November 3, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Business Affairs Jose Fernandez and Salvadoran Presidential Technical Secretary, Alexander Segovia, signed a Joint Statement of Principles that will formally implement the Partnership for Growth Initiative.
"This Partnership ... demonstrates the strong and deep ties shared by our two countries," said Assistant Secretary Fernandez.
The Joint Statement of Principles signals our two countries' intent to pursue an action plan to address the most critical constraints to broad-based, sustainable, and inclusive growth in El Salvador. Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes, Foreign Minister Hugo Martinez, and U.S. Ambassador Mari Carmen Aponte witnessed the ceremony.
Partnership for Growth is a signature effort of President Obama's development policy, focused on economic growth as the core priority for U.S. development efforts. President Obama and President Funes announced the U.S.-El Salvador Partnership for Growth during President Obama's March 2011 visit to El Salvador. El Salvador is one of four counties—-along with the Philippines, Ghana, and Tanzania—-with which the United States is undertaking this partnership.
The Partnership began with an analysis by economic experts from both countries, which identified the two key binding constraints to growth in El Salvador as crime and insecurity, as well as low productivity in the tradeables sector.
Based on this assessment, the U.S. government worked closely with the Government of El Salvador to identify and prioritize key activities that would address those constraints to growth and unlock El Salvador's economic potential. The activities are outlined in a Joint Country Action Plan that will steer the partnership moving forward.
U.S. officials are meeting with members of Salvadoran civil society, the private sector, and the international donor community to discuss the commitments under the partnership and to solicit their engagement and support.
"In order for this endeavor under Partnership for Growth to truly work, we must broaden our cooperation with the private sector and the Salvadoran people," said Assistant Secretary Fernandez. Assistant Secretary Fernandez told the Salvadoran people that the United States is "eager to advance this joint, transformative partnership between the United States and El Salvador, for improvement in the lives of our citizens."