El Salvador: Workshop on Building Innovation in Processes and Proactively Developing Products

July 10, 2019 - July 11, 2019

On July 10-11, 2019, in San Salvador, El Salvador, CLDP and USTR conducted a workshop on ‘Building Innovation in Processes and Proactively Developing Products,’ for 108 government officials, academics, and industry representatives from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

For U.S. brand buyers, El Salvador is the preferred market to send samples and fabrics for development and sourcing to suppliers given its proximity. Delivery turnaround from Central America is between three and seven days, in contrast to 21 days via sea cargo shipments from Asian markets. Often when Central American suppliers cannot create the desired product, they decline the order outright rather than developing potential alternatives. The greatest hindrance to improving the Salvadoran textile and apparel industry’s competitive edge is its reactive rather than proactive nature. Instead of proactive product development, Salvadoran producers generally rely on Asian markets rather than pioneering products on their own. To restore the Salvadoran industry’s competitive edge, El Salvador must harness its geographic proximity to the U.S. and create niche markets for itself by diversifying products to break away from its reliance on competing markets.

To address these areas of need, CLDP and USTR conducted a workshop on catalyzing innovation in processes and proactive product development. The purpose of this workshop was to build technical capacity and empower the Salvadoran industry to optimize research and development, diversify products, enhance quality assurance measures, and identify global trends in textile and apparel innovations. Strengthening the capabilities and efficiencies of the Salvadoran textile and apparel industry will enhance export opportunities along the full US–CAFTA-DR supply chain. 

The workshop served as a foundation to showcase how technological and process innovations can ensure Salvadoran apparel and textile products meet the desired quality levels of a company’s target market and enhance the industry’s competitive advantage. To achieve this, CLDP and USTR called upon university professors, as well as industry leaders from the U.S. and El Salvador with extensive experience with innovation, supply chain coordination, shifting global markets, communication strategies, and sustainability. The presentations showcased prioritizing research and development, maximizing meetings with potential buyers, innovating with limited resources, and understanding global trends in in textile and apparel innovations. To conclude, the experts led the participants in interactive case studies that explored research and development training programs, developing unique products, and ensuring productive meetings with potential buyers. 

As a result of this workshop, textile and apparel industry representatives in Central America’s Northern Triangle increased their understanding of process innovation and proactive product development within an international trading scheme. This workshop is part of a multiphase effort to improve regional economic prosperity in the Northern Triangle by strengthening the Salvadoran textile industry’s competitiveness through enhanced efficiency and communication within the integrated supply chain.

CLDP in Action

October 23, 2019 - October 24, 2019

On October 23-24 in Tunis, Tunisia, CLDP held a workshop to identify potential changes to Tunisian law that would encourage increased cross-border eCommerce transactions for both exports and imports. Over 40 representatives from several government ministries, the private sector, and the NGO community discussed potential amendments to Tunisia’s eCommerce law, customs procedures, central bank currency and payment rules, and other matters.  The participants offered sets of informal recommendations for further action.

ECommerce in Tunisia has not reached its full potential, although there are black market eCommerce websites. Legal changes could help Tunisian SMEs and individuals reach new markets, while also providing opportunities for US sellers.

Read More about Tunisia: CLDP Holds Cross-Border eCommerce Workshop