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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. Minister of Foreign Relations Hugo Martinez was received in France in July 2011. 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.
The French President’s personal envoy for Latin America and the Caribbean, Mr Jean-Pierre Bel, made a visit to El Salvador from 5 to 6 April 2016, during which he was received by the President of the Republic and the Minister of Foreign Relations, Mr Hugo Martinez. He also met with Ms Victoria Marina Velázquez de Avilés, Secretary-General of the Central American Integration System (SICA). A delegation from the French Senate’s France-Mexico and Central America friendship group also visited El Salvador from 14 to 18 April 2016.

Economic relations

Our trade with El Salvador is limited but we have a surplus: in 2015, our exports stagnated at around €25.5 million, while the rise in our imports, totalling €14 million (+22% compared to 2014) led to a fall in our surplus (from €14 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 (more than 1,300 pupils) also provides training for French language teachers. Lastly, 230 Salvadorians were studying in French higher education institutions in 2015.

As regards development, the most high-profile project is Techo y Agua, a rainwater collection project set up using the El Salvador debt conversion fund.

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).

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Updated: 11 October 2016

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