El Salvador: Optimizing Operations Through Intergovernmental Cooperation and Centrally-Published Information

November 17, 2020 - November 18, 2020

On November 17-18, 2020, CLDP, in collaboration with ITA and CBP, conducted a virtual workshop setting forth best practices for border agency coordination and publication of trade-related information to facilitate trade for more than 100 regional representatives from across Central America.

Inefficient agency coordination and disjointed publication of information collectively reduce the efficacy and transparency of the regulatory process in El Salvador, further engendering distrust between the private and public sectors. To address these areas of need, CLDP conducted a workshop that set forth best practices on optimizing operations through intergovernmental cooperation and centrally published information.

Participants included Salvadoran private sector representatives and officials from the Ministries of Agriculture, Customs, Defense, Economy, Finance, Health, Infrastructure, Medicines, and Ports. They were joined by their counterparts from the Guatemalan, Honduran, and Costa Rican Ministries of Economy, Customs, and Agriculture. From the Salvadoran private sector, the American Chamber of Commerce in El Salvador and the Commission of Associations to Facilitate Trade in El Salvador (CIFACIL) participated.

The workshop saw high-level participation from both governments with opening remarks from the Salvadoran Secretary of Commerce, Jorge Miguel Kattán; Salvadoran Minister of Economy, Maria Luisa Hayem; CLDP Deputy Chief Counsel, Joe Yang; and the U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador, Ronald Johnson. Following the workshop’s inauguration, experts showcased best practices for effective coordination among agencies, consolidation of information related to import and export procedures, and uniform publication of information across agency websites. Representatives from the governments of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras presented to regional and USG counterparts as well as the private sector on their efforts to identify publication gaps across ministerial websites and create internal strategies to ensure compliance with the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement’s (WTO TFA) publication of information commitments. In addition to government-to-government presentations, the Salvadoran private sector representatives shared their experience navigating websites of Salvadoran trade ministries and suggested areas for improvement. The workshop concluded with an interactive panel discussion where each country representative discussed their respective efforts to encourage trade through enhanced transparency initiatives and increased collaboration both internally with regional counterparts and externally with the private sector.

In preparation for the workshop, the Salvadoran participants performed internal assessments of their respective ministry’s implementation of Article 1 of the WTO TFA. Specifically, participants compiled an inventory of current procedures and documents related to TFA Art. 1.1 that can only be found or completed in paper form, current procedures and documents related to Art. 1.1 that can only be found or completed online/through the internet, and current plans or strategies to publish the procedures, documents, and information related to TFA Art. 1.1 online. In addition, participants examined TFA Art. 8.1, border agency cooperation, and identified the gaps in communication and cooperation between their ministries to support publication of trade information. The Article 1 assessment exercise served as the foundation for El Salvador to improve its interagency coordination and enrich its TFA Art. 1.4 transparency notification, which outlines the official sites where trade-related information is published. The Salvadoran government is working with the private sector to finalize the notification and plans to submit the updated notification to the WTO in the coming weeks.

As a result of this workshop, the Salvadoran government has improved its interagency coordination, and increased its understanding of the importance of publishing trade-related information in a non-discriminatory, easy-to-access manner. This workshop is part of a multiphase effort to promote transparency, cooperation, and coordination for the Salvadoran government, and to improve interregional trade in Central America.

Upcoming Programs

October 1, 2020 - December 31, 2020

 CLDP coaches will be working with the 2 Maldivian Vis Moot teams on written advocacy. The coaches will be conducting weekly webinars with the teams on helping them draft research their legal issues, formulate their arguments, and write their memoranda. First, the teams will focus on writing their claimant’s memorandum. Then, the teams will focus on writing their respondent’s memorandum. Once the teams have completed their briefs, they will focus on preparing their oral arguments. 

October 5, 2020 - December 31, 2020

On October 5, the Maldives International Arbitration Center (MIAC) had its first ever arbitration filed. CLDP will be assisting MIAC with the case management of this case – helping MIAC’s case managers process this case effectively, efficiently, and transparently.  In the process, CLDP will ensure that MIAC’s staff and case managers receive case management training on the job.

CLDP in Action

November 9, 2020

CLDP, along with INSOL International and the World Bank Group, a series of Live Forum broadcasts, providing a platform for the judiciary to discuss current issues whilst facilitating knowledge sharing. 
 

Read More about MENA Regional: INSOL International and World Bank Group Virtual Judicial Forum