Free Trade Agreements: El Salvador

Since 2016, El Salvador put into effect free trade agreements negotiated jointly with other Central American partners with the Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom.

It also began operating a partial scope bilateral agreement with Ecuador, according to information from the World Trade Organization (WTO).

In addition to the Central American Common Market (CACM), El Salvador has free trade agreements and/or partial scope agreements with Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic (CAFTA-DR), Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Republic of Korea, United Kingdom, United States (CAFTA-DR and Central America-DR), and the European Union.

Trade agreements negotiated by El Salvador, 2016-2022

The First Additional Protocol to the Partial Scope Agreement with Cuba was signed on October 25, 2018 and is currently under review by the Legislative Assembly’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, Central American Integration and Salvadorans Abroad.

To keep in mind: the fundamental principles of El Salvador’s trade policy continue to be to deepen Central American integration, as well as to promote access to external markets and a better insertion of the country in the international economy.

Free trade agreements

Prepared in 2019, the Government Plan (Plan Cuscatlán) defines, among others, the following foreign policy objectives: encourage Central American integration under an integral perspective, promote FDI through institutional strengthening and greater regional economic integration, and boost foreign trade by taking advantage of existing trade treaties and multilateral agreements, promoting exports of local MSMEs and facilitating customs transit.

According to information from the Salvadoran authorities, the trade flows that El Salvador maintained in 2021 with the economies with which it has preferential agreements in force represented 96.3% of its total exports and 70.0% of its total merchandise imports.

El Salvador participates in regional integration and cooperation processes within the framework of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS).

The fundamental objectives of the ACS are the creation of an expanded economic space, the preservation of the environmental integrity of the Caribbean Sea and the promotion of sustainable development in the region.

In pursuit of these objectives, the ACS focuses its work in areas such as trade, transportation, sustainable tourism and natural disaster prevention.

Under the Generalized System of Preferences, as of October 2022, El Salvador was benefiting from the preferential trade arrangements of the following partners (year of entry into force of preferences is indicated in parentheses): Australia (1974); Armenia (2016); Canada (1974); Japan (1971); Kazakhstan (2016); Kyrgyzstan (2016); Norway (1971); New Zealand (1972); Russian Federation (2010); Switzerland (1972); and Eurasian Economic Union (2016).


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