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The short-term outlook for El Salvador's construction and infrastructure market has improved slightly after the industry outperformed over much of 2019. Much of the growth achieved in the market is the result of the Fomilenio II programme. The short-term viewpoint for El Salvador's construction market remains broadly positive. Foreign development funding is driving forward a number of key projects and there is growing private investor interest leading to growth across the residential, transport and energy infrastructure sectors. That being said, with the Fomilenio II programme coming to an end in 2020, growth in the market is set to slow significantly as public spending capacity will be insufficient to maintain momentum. Additional risk factors, such as skilled labour shortages and the potential withdrawal of foreign aid from the US, could also deter investors from committing to the market. 

The new governmental administration plans to develop five infrastructure projects in El Salvador under the Public-Private Partnership model, which would require an investment of approximately $545 million. The works of illumination of highways, theconstruction of a terminal of load and an administrative center, are some of theprojectsthat the administration plans to tender and award, under the format of Public Private Partner. 

Improvements made to airports, port, railroads and roads are as follows: 

Monsenor Oscar Arnulfo Romero Airport: 

  1. New landing system by instrumentation. 
  2. Renovated and bigger main entrance. 
  3. VIP room with FIDS flights information. 
  4. Extension of the arriving lobby. 
  5. Commercial development (more shops). 
  6. Construction of new office building. 
  7. Renewable energy, the system is composed  of 1,932 solar panels for a coverage of 5,000m2. 
  8. New sewage collection pipes, which take the sewage to a recycling pond. 
  9. System for controlling fire and renew drinking water.   
  10. Electric sub-station. 
  11. General material warehouse.

Ilopango Airport: 

  1. Installation of lights on the landing strip, international platform and running roads. 
  2. Maintenance of the landing strip 
  3. Improvement of the control tower, 
  4. Installation of two meteorological stations. 
  5. X ray equipment. 

 Acajutla port 

  1. Installation of backing system for the vigilance system. 
  2. Installation of fire detection system of warehouse no.3. 
  3. Supply of two clams 15m3 
  4. Construction of parking lot and cargo warehouse 

La Union port 

  1. Maintenance of the buoy and installation of  new one at the navigation channel. 
  2. Assessment. 

Railroads 

  1. Rehabilitation of the rail station for museum.  

Roads 

  1. Construction and renew of Litoral road. 
  2. Construction of San Miguel peripheral road. This will improve the transit of cargo trucks from the west to the east part of the country. Trucks will not pass through the city. 

Communications (2017- CIA) 

  1. General assessment: multiple mobile-cellular began rolling out Long Term Evolution (LTE) data services in late-2016; Internet usage grew almost 400% between 2007 and 2015; 6% of phones are fixed while 94% are mobile (2018) 
  2. Domestic: nationwide microwave radio relay system; growth in fixed-line services 11 per 100, has slowed in the face of mobile-cellular competition at 162 per 100 (2019) 
  3. International: country code - 503; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); connected to Central American Microwave System (2019). 
  4. Multiple privately owned national terrestrial TV networks, supplemented by cable TV networks that carry international channels; hundreds of commercial radio broadcast stations and 1 government-owned radio broadcast station; transition to digital transmission to begin in 2018 along with adaptation of the Japanese-Brazilian Digital Standard (ISDB-T) 
  5. 1,785,254 internet users (2016) 

 

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According to the World Bank´s Logistics Performance Index El Salvador by 2022 had a score of 4.00.  The country was placed as the second country with most difficulties to get into the global economy through commerce. This was due to the low logistics performance.

On the roads side, El Salvador in 2015 was the second country of the region for having the best roads. As of 2017 the total of paved roads was 3,748.89kms. By 2020, the country accounts 4,033.25km paved roads and 2,394.76km of non-paved roads. Due to the increase of traffic, new roads had to be open, i.e.: peripheral rings of Sonsonate and San Miguel.

As of 2019, El Salvador´s traffic has increased not only by the increase of vehicles, but also due to the public transportation disorder and its contamination due to the bad conditions of the buses. According to the vice-Ministry of Transportation the number of vehicles in 2019 was 1,237,000 with a monthly increase of 1.2%, which means 8,000 vehicles a month.  This increase of vehicles has also congested the two main roads (littoral and Pan-American), which also is occupied by heavy trucks traveling along the central American countries.

El Salvador has two  ports, Puerto de Acajutla and La Union. Acajutla port is the main port fully working receiving cargo ships. El Puerto de La Union was constructed by JICA (2005), however it operates an average of 8 ships a month. It is expected that this year it can operate in a project together with Port Calderas in Costa Rica. The project is to transport loaded trucks on a ferry between the two countries. It is worth to mention that at the same time the port of La Union was under construction, the Ministry of Education launched Logistics as a career to study so there would be prepared personnel to work on said port. Unfortunately, most of the graduates had to find jobs in other areas or are jobless.

At the moment El Salvador has the following ongoing projects:

  1. A second USA Millennium project to improve the Litoral highway, and such the improvement of commerce on that area.
  2. A ferry between La Union port in El Salvador and Calderas Port in Costa Rica for the use of a ferry to transport loaded trucks. This will enable the transit that is blocked at the border Nicaragua-Costa Rica.
  3. MOARG International Airport is still expanding, operating at 100%. The improvements are more space in the waiting area, more shops and expanded space for more planes.
  4. Construction of a peripheral ring road in San Miguel area for heavy transport go straight to El Amatillo border. This will help to decongest La Ruta Militar road, which crosses around San Miguel.