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.

Upcoming Programs

August 1, 2020 - April 30, 2021

Throughout the quarter, CLDP engaged with numerous experts to prepare and record eight separate sessions on trade topics, specifically designed for Afghanistan’s approximately 25 Commercial Attachés posted throughout the world. In May 2018, CLDP spent one week training the same group of Attachés in a comprehensive course designed for them prior to their departure. This updated training course is intended to provide more advanced training on relevant topics now that the Attachés have been serving in their posts for more than two years.  The topics for these presentations were identified based on consultations with the Attachés and relevant stakeholders in the last quarter. Topics include drafting international contracts, attracting foreign direct investment, negotiation strategies, and two sessions on working trade shows. The series of pre-recorded virtual presentations, including translated copies of the presentations, will be delivered on a rolling basis to the Attachés. In addition, future topics will be recorded and shared with the participants. These virtual recordings will be saved in an online repository, which will be available for any interested party to view, including the private sector. 

March 15, 2021 - May 24, 2021

CLDP in close collaboration with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) trained Bahrain Innovation and Technology Center (BITC) staff regarding filing patents in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council).  This program was part of a CLDP/USPTO collaboration to conduct over 40 hours of intellectual property training for the BITC.  The program included training on how to obtain patents and copyrights in the US as well as other jurisdictions.  

CLDP in Action

February 24, 2021 - February 25, 2021

On February 24-25, CLDP conducted a workshop on FIDIC contracts for a delegation of Sri Lankan officials from the Attorney General’s office.

Read More about Sri Lanka: FIDIC Contracts Workshop