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George W. Bush Institute Hosts Central American Leaders on Trip to Washington, D.C.

Report released in conjunction with visit addresses economic growth in the region.

Press Release by Sarah Gibbons May 14, 2019

DALLAS—This week, the George W. Bush Institute’s Central America Prosperity Project (CAPP) hosts 27 leaders from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras in Washington, D.C. to convene with policymakers and thought leaders. The visit will kick-off with a public event this morning, May 14, 9:00am-11:00am ET at the Atlantic Council, focused on policy ideas that could create a path to sustained economic growth for the Northern Triangle region. The event will feature CAPP participants and include remarks from Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Jon E. Piechowski and Senators Thomas Carper and John Cornyn. Watch the livestream here.

In conjunction with the event, the Bush Institute will release a new report that outlines a focused agenda designed for broad economic impact in Central America. The report identifies digital connectivity and financial technologies as missing and essential ingredients to stimulating the economy in Central America. It also outlines how the U.S. government could support a digital evolution across the region in ways that constitute a logical extension to previous U.S. assistance programs.

“The Bush Institute has identified one critical and emerging driver of the region’s economy—digital payments,” said Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative Director Matthew Rooney. “Central America simply cannot afford to fall behind in transforming its regional economy to compete digitally.”

During the group’s visit in D.C., CAPP participants will meet with staff from Members of Congress, USAID, the State Department, and the Inter-American Development Bank. They will also hear from leaders such as President José María Aznar, Rep. Dan Crenshaw, and Ambassadors Marlon Tábora Muñoz and Claudia Ivette Canjura de Centeno.

In 2018, the Bush Institute launched the CAPP program with the belief that stronger economies in Central America will reduce immigration pressure on our borders and expand markets for the U.S. exports. The Project brings together experienced Central American leaders with the emerging generations of leaders for a series of focused discussions on the efforts the region has made over the past two decades, particularly in the context of the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), to find a path to sustained economic growth.

The initial CAPP session in Dallas in 2018 focused on reviewing past reform efforts in a global context, with a focus on the U.S. perspective. Participants had the opportunity to hear President George W. Bush discuss his administration’s efforts to transform U.S foreign assistance policy into one focused on opening opportunities rather than promoting dependency.

For more information on the Central America Prosperity Project, please visit www.bushcenter.org/economicgrowth.


About the George W. Bush Institute:

Housed within the George W. Bush Presidential Center, the George W. Bush Institute is an action-oriented, nonpartisan policy organization with the mission of developing leaders, advancing policy, and taking action to solve today’s most pressing challenges. Through three Impact Centers – Domestic Excellence, Global Leadership, and an Engagement Agenda – the Bush Institute delivers measurable results that save and improve lives. To learn more, visit www.BushCenter.org.