CLDP Results in Latin America and the Caribbean

CLDP has provided technical assistance to five countries in Latin America and the Caribbean on a range of legal and commercial issues. Through agreements with USAID, CLDP has grown its presence in the region focusing on high-priority areas identified through technical exchanges between CLDP Attorney-Advisors and local counterparts. By promoting transparency initiatives, improving trade, supporting the development of small businesses and their inclusion in public procurement, and increasing the electrification of rural zones through microgrid infrastructure development, CLDP continues to build institutional capacity to fuel economic growth throughout the region. CLDP currently works in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic.


Central America Microgrids

Access to reliable and affordable electricity is a fundamental requirement for emerging markets to transition from cottage industries to industrial scale efficiencies. In recent years, there has been significant progress in grid-based electrification in Central America by using national grids; however, a key restraint is the inability of the national grid to support energy needs of remote and rural households as well as industrial consumers. Microgrids however can address the gap that the national grid is unable to fill by supplying electricity to rural areas of Honduras. CLDP’s program seeks to accelerate economic growth through increased access to reliable and affordable power by encouraging investment in microgrid development.

Goals:

  • Build the capacity of public and private sectors to improve the energy infrastructure;
  • Include rural areas in regional economic and industrial development.

Program Areas:

  • Facilitate private investment in microgrid projects through reduced transaction costs and the incorporation of commercial risk mitigation best practices;
  • Develop standardized contracts that can be used by communities and private companies to create microgrids.

Central America Trade Facilitation

CLDP works closely with the International Trade Administration (ITA) Office of the Western Hemisphere to implement the Central America Customs, Border Management, and Supply Chain Program in Central America’s Northern Triangle (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras). This trade facilitation programming supports the Northern Triangle governments in implementing transparency initiatives to improve and simplify customs clearance procedures that strengthen trade ties, boost regional integration through exports, and increase job creation. By promoting regional integration and creating economic opportunity, CLDP’s trade facilitation programing addresses security, governance, and economic drivers of illegal immigration and illicit trafficking, while increasing opportunities for U.S. and other businesses. The Program also promotes the prosperity objectives set forth in the U.S. Strategy for Engagement in Central America and the Alliance for Prosperity Initiative by strengthening implementation of, and ensuring compliance with, the commitments outlined in both the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) and the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (WTO TFA).

Goals:

  • Reduce delays for moving U.S. goods across borders to support trade and encourage sustainable supply chains between the U.S. and Central America;
  • Develop consensus among Central American governments and businesses to implement trade facilitation reforms that improve border procedures and reduce trade costs;
  • Improve efficiency and transparency in cross-border trade;
  • Strengthen WTO TFA implementation.

Program Areas:

  • Support robust implementation of WTO TFA Articles related to efficiency and transparency including public consultation, publication of information, border agency cooperation, and advanced rulings;
  • Foster effective National Trade Facilitation Committees in each country that regularly coordinate with one another to address regional issues.

El Salvador – Textiles Competitiveness

CLDP works closely with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to implement a textiles competitiveness program to improve regional prosperity in Central America by fostering human and institutional capacity to strengthen the Salvadoran textile industry. With textiles and apparel representing 46% of total Salvadoran exports, the apparel sector is the leading manufacturing employer in El Salvador and the primary employer of women, who are often the primary earners. Despite trade preferences, benefits under the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR), and recent advances in product innovation, Central American textile and apparel producers have struggled to compete against low-wage Asian countries. CLDP’s textiles competitiveness program focuses on building capacity across the Salvadoran industry in four areas: innovating operations and production processes; strengthening supply-chain management; building effective marketing strategies; and strengthening utilization of the CAFTA-DR Agreement. Continued growth and development of the Salvadoran textiles industry is critical to creating relatively high-paying formal sector jobs, reducing poverty, and stemming irregular migration, thus promoting a more prosperous and stable region.

Goals:

  • Build human and institutional capacity of the Salvadoran textile and apparel industry;
  • Foster a skilled workforce, improve regional value chains, and promote innovation and efficiencies in private enterprise.

Program Areas:

  • Strengthening utilization of the CAFTA-DR agreement;
  • Building innovation in operations and production processes;
  • Strengthening supply chain management;
  • Building effective marketing strategies and practices.

Dominican Republic – Public Procurement

CLDP has an interagency agreement with the USAID Mission in the Dominican Republic (DR) to assist the national government in improving the transparency and effectiveness of the country’s public procurement system for citizen security institution contracts and in increasing access to government contracts for small and women-owned businesses. CLDP, in close cooperation with the DR’s national procurement agency (Dirección General de Contrataciones Públicas) and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, conducts programming to identify legal and procedural gaps that undermine transparency, efficiency, or small business access in the procurement system and to develop strategies to address these gaps. CLDP also conducts training programs for government personnel to ensure compliance with local procurement laws and regulations and to share U.S. and international best practices for increasing the level of transparency and competition in government tenders. CLDP also organizes events and workshops to connect public and private sector stakeholders to improve communication between the government and industry and to improve the government’s ability to conduct market research.

Goals:

  • To improve the transparency and effectiveness of the Dominican Republic’s procurement system for citizen security institutions;
  • To improve access for micro, small and women-owned businesses.

Program Areas:

  • Build the capacity of government contracting officials to plan and implement transparent government tenders and to effectively manage contracts;
  • Develop a certification program for procurement personnel;
  • Establish procurement technical assistance centers within small business development centers in the country to assist small and women-owned businesses;
  • Improve contracting methods and procedures to prepare for and respond to natural disasters;
  • Strengthen bid protest mechanisms and engage the private sector and civil society to enhance oversight of procurements.