El Salvador was the region’s third largest service exporter in 2023

Photo of author

By LatAm Reports Staff Writers

Salvadoran companies exported more than $5.1 billion at the end of 2023, according to Sieca.

El Salvador was the third country with the highest levels of service exports in the region at the end of 2023, the Secretariat for Central American Economic Integration (Sieca) revealed.

An investigation, entitled “Monitor del Comercio de Comercio de Centroamérica de Centroamérica,” published in May 2024-, indicates that in 2023 the region exported $45,342.2 million in services, with an increase of 11.7 % compared to 2022.

El Salvador’s total exports to the fourth quarter of 2023 were $5,108.6 million, registering an increase of 18.2 percent over the previous year, the Sieca report said.

Of the regional total, 38.5 per cent was marketed by Panama, while Costa Rica participated with 32.7 per cent and El Salvador contributed 11.3 per cent of regional exports.

Guatemala was the fourth country to export the most, after 9.4 %, Honduras sent 4.7 percent of the services marketed in the region, while Nicaragua, with 3.4 percent of shipments, ranked last.

Sieca notes that 75 per cent of services marketed by El Salvador focused on the categories of travel, transport, telecommunications, computer science and information. Together these items reported an increase in exports of 34 per cent.

For their part, the sectors of physical inputs, maintenance and repairs and other business services decreased exports by 12.8 per cent compared to 2022.

The El Salvador Exporters Corporation (Coexport) has outsourced the importance of this area in the economy. In early July, he stressed that service exports continued to grow during 2024, led by tourism, travel, logistics and call centres.

Imports of services

Sieca reveals that imports of services were lower than exports. In total, Central American countries acquired $25,116.2 million in services, using funds mainly for the transport, travel and other business benefits.

In this way, the trade balance is in favour of exports with a balance of $20,226,1 million.

According to the Secretariat, the Salvadoran market claimed 4.6 per cent less imported services than in 2022. In the fourth quarter of 2023, the country bought $2.647 million in this area focused, at 65.3 percent, on transport and travel.

El Salvador was the second country to import services the least in 2023, representing 10.6 percent of everything acquired by the region.

The report points out that the main importers were Costa Rica with 25.3 %, Panama with 23.7%, as well as Guatemala, which bought 22.6 percent of the services purchased in the region.

For its part, Honduras bought 13.3 percent of the services and Nicaragua was the least imported, with 4.5 percent of the total.

This article has been translated after first appearing in Diario El Mundo