...[there was a] a contingent of 15 Salvadoran companies sponsored by Expro, a $6 million project by the U.S. Agency for International Development that is teaching small-business owners in El Salvador to export their products. The small-business owners said the United States is an attractive market for two reasons: The Salvadoran community in the United States is about 1.5 million strong and growing; also growing is the market for organic and natural foods.
Expro, which started in July 2003, has already helped about 55 Salvadoran businesses export $4.8 million worth of products to the United States, Japan, Germany and other countries. That's a tiny sliver of El Salvador's total exports of $3.2 billion last year, but the program has helped small businesses reach markets overseas. A few USAID trade specialists live in El Salvador and help guide small-business owners through the maze of regulations so they can begin exporting.
"The companies come to [trade shows] to get to know a new market, to see what the trends are and to see who the competition is," said Lisa K. Alley, an Expro trade specialist.
Saturday, October 16, 2004
Exports to the rescue
I have mixed feelings about trade and capitalist values, but it's somewhat easier to feel okay about USAID helping small businesses in El Salvador. The Post has a story about a trade show in DC this week:
Posted by David at 3:09 PM