El Salvador Welcomes 5,000 Skilled Workers

El Salvador has unveiled an innovative plan to offer 5,000 complimentary passports to distinguished international talents. Under the guidance of President Nayib Bukele, the initiative named ‘Nayib Bukele’s pro-tempore Bid Zivim’sak’ is set to launch, showcasing the country’s ambitious vision. This strategic move aims not only to attract top talent in fields such as science, engineering, medicine, art, and philosophy to bolster the country’s economy and stimulate domestic and foreign investments but also to: 

  • Encourage a dynamic and innovative business environment
  • Improve the quality of education and healthcare services
  • Propel technological advancements
  • Strengthen infrastructure for sustainable development

The government has carefully designed the program to ensure a hassle-free transition for the newcomers, including:

  • An easy application process for eligible professionals
  • Support in relocating and integrating into the Salvadoran community
  • Networking opportunities for professional growth
  • Opportunities Awaiting Skilled Workers

The program, valued at approximately $5 billion under El Salvador’s passport scheme, represents less than 0.1% of the nation’s population. President Bukele has emphasized that this small percentage will not pose any logistical challenges in granting full citizen status, including voting rights, to the new arrivals. He further highlighted the significant impact these skilled individuals are expected to have on Salvadoran society and the future development of the country.

A Warm Welcome for New Minds

To facilitate the relocation of these skilled workers and their families, the Salvadoran government will waive taxes and tariffs on moving assets, including commercial value items like equipment, software, and intellectual property. This initiative is part of a broader strategy by President Bukele to attract foreign investment and expertise to El Salvador, following other radical and sometimes controversial reforms such as the adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender.

A Fresh Wave of Innovation

This initiative is part of El Salvador’s broader effort to attract global investments and expertise, following other standout moves like making Bitcoin legal money. El Salvador is setting itself up as a welcoming place for innovation and skilled talent.

The Economy on the Upswing

The government of Nayib Bukele has implemented various strategies to stimulate economic growth, including the simplification and digitalization of legal processes and the consolidation of social security. El Salvador’s economy is on the rise, expected to hit a $33.79 billion Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by the end of 2024. Growth is being driven by industries such as construction, tourism, and finance. The GDP growth rate was 4.5% in the fourth quarter of 2023, marking the most significant growth since the third quarter of 2021.

The construction sector has been particularly dynamic, contributing significantly to economic activity with an increase of 10.6% to the third quarter of 2023. This sector generates around 120,000 jobs, both direct and indirect. 

Tourism has also seen a notable boost, with the arrival of 3.4 million foreign visitors in 2023, leaving $3,793 million in foreign currency, a 43% increase compared to 2022. The government has set a goal of 3.8 million international visitors for 2024, aiming for $3,800 million in foreign exchange income. 

Financial services, commerce, transportation, hotels, restaurants, professional and technical services, and communications have also shown greater dynamism, contributing to the positive performance of the economy.

El Salvador’s economy is experiencing growth and diversification, supported by government initiatives and contributions from various sectors. However, challenges such as managing external debt, attracting more FDI, and addressing social issues like food insecurity and the cost of living persist. The outlook for El Salvador’s economy in the coming years is characterized by moderate growth, with projections indicating a gradual but steady pace. The World Bank forecasts that the Salvadoran economy will grow by 2.8% by the end of 2023 and anticipates a growth rate of 2.3% for both 2024 and 2025.

Pioneering a New Chapter

As El Salvador takes these bold steps, the world watches with keen interest to observe the outcomes of such a pioneering endeavor. Should this initiative prove successful, it might inspire similar strategies worldwide, reshaping the way nations attract and harness global expertise. El Salvador is charting a course towards a bright future, fueled by the talents and innovations of the world’s brightest minds.This drive to attract global talent is a clear indicator of President Bukele’s commitment to advancing El Salvador’s place on the world stage. 


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