Doing Business in Latin America and The Caribbean: El Salvador


With a territory of 21,000 square kilometers, El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America and the only one with no access to the Atlantic Coast. Its population reaches almost 7 million and the territory is politically divided into 14 departments.

The government is democratic and representative and the president of the republic is the chief of state. The legislative power is held by the Congress comprised of 84 congressmen. The judicial power is held by the courts. By constitutional provisions, the exercise of executive, legislative and judicial powers are carried independently by the corresponding authorities but they are bound to collaborate in order to achieve the best interests of the Republic. Since 1 January 2001 the currency of El Salvador is the U.S. dollar.


Since the early 1990s, the Salvadoran government promotes and protects foreign investment through the gradual elimination of legal limitations and restrictions. Currently there is virtually no restriction or limitation for a foreign investor who can conduct business in El Salvador as a Salvadoran citizen. The only exceptions are constitutional provisions that reserve to Salvadoran nationals certain activities such as artisan fishing (small scale maritime fishing) and the ownership of rural property.

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