Welcome, Vice President Biden

His visit is a positive political message to promote projects that create jobs.

Today Joe Biden, vice president of the U.S., lands at La Aurora Airport. The last time he was in Guatemala was nine months ago, in June of last year. I, along with other representatives of civil society, had the pleasant opportunity to meet with him on that occasion, and it was an interesting conversation. Mr. Biden is a man who understands the importance of institutions facilitating formal job creation in departments that our countrymen are emigrating from, so he recognizes the importance of working hand in hand with the private sector.

The Allied Plan for Prosperity in the Northern Triangle presents a challenge to Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras not only to create integration mechanisms, collaboration and significant effort to be able to land a plan that has enough capability to incentivize the private sector to become more interested in investing in those municipalities that migrants are leaving, but also to analyze the factors that have shown it’s currently not economically feasible to open a business in these areas (for diverse reasons such as lack of infrastructure, poor telephonic connection, low capability of human resources, little presence from state institutions and deficient health services).

Vice President Biden’s visit comes at a critical moment for this country, which finds itself on the brink of officially starting its electoral campaign, where candidates and their teams should integrate into their governing plans the actions that will help generate more employment in the country and continue reducing insecurity.

When we see the positive effects that have occurred in other countries that have received these types of initiatives from the U.S. (like the Colombia Plan, or the Marshall Plan in Europe’s case), not only crucial are the resources to be gained, but also the dynamic of cooperation among different institutions that are created to work together with the same objective based on unified guidelines. The good news is that we already have tools like the Local Competitiveness Index that evaluates the capability of municipalities to create formal jobs, a mechanism that establishes priorities for cooperation and helps demonstrate, with technical data, which are the most important challenges to being able to establish priorities toward public policy workings that help focus on investment. Again, welcome Vice President Biden; we hope that your visit is very beneficial to the region.

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