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France and El Salvador


Political relations

Our bilateral relations have been based on confidence and friendship since the end of the internal conflict. The Chancellor, Hugo Martinez, was received in France in July 2011, which marked the reopening of bilateral dialogue.

On 18 October 2012, the French Ambassador to El Salvador signed an instrument formalizing France’s status as an observer of the Central American Integration System (SICA). France thus became the eighth extraregional observer, alongside Australia, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain and Taiwan.

In 2013, our bilateral relations were strengthened by several high-level visits and cooperation actions. During a tour of Central America, the French Ambassador for human rights conducted a working visit to El Salvador, where he met the Prosecutor for the Defence of Human Rights and the President of the Fundacion Humanitaria, and gave a lecture at SICA.

On 20 May 2013, Ms Conway-Mouret, then Minister Delegate for French Nationals Abroad, travelled to El Salvador and met the Vice Minister for Salvadorians Abroad, the Minister of Foreign Relations and the Secretary General of SICA. This French ministerial visit, the first in seventeen years, was greatly appreciated by the Salvadorian authorities.

Economic relations

Our trade with this country fell from €74 million to €38.5 million in 2013, then to €37.2 million in 2014: trade in transport equipment, which was historically our leading export sector, dropped from €43.6 million in 2012 to €0.4 million (since the takeover of TACA, Airbus deliveries to this company have been counted as trade with Colombia). French imports from El Salvador, meanwhile, rose by 47.4% in 2014 (from €7.7 million to €11.5 million).

Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

Bilateral cooperation is mainly focused on promoting the French language, cultural exchanges and university education. It is supported by a dynamic network: the Consuelo et Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Lycée in San Salvador is the largest French language teaching establishment in Central America, with over 1,300 pupils, and its cultural and educational action extends beyond the school environment. The San Salvador Alliance Française (1,320 pupils) also provides training for French language teachers. Lastly, some 200 Salvadorian students are studying in France.

In the field of development, the most high-profile project is Techo y Agua, a rainwater collection project set up using the France-El Salvador debt conversion fund (€22 million reinvested over twenty years).

The French Global Environment Facility (FFEM) is contributing €1,100,000 to help finance La Montañona, a project on the sustainable management of productive landscapes, focusing on conservation agriculture, agroforestry, agro-sylvo-pastoral systems and forest protection. The project is being co-financed by the FFEM, the Salvadorian Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, the association of communes of La Montañona and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (BCIE).

- http://institutfrancais-ifac.com

Updated: 04/01/2016

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