TEGUCIGALPA, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Central American countries hope to benefit from more U.S. investment following this week's visit to the region by U.S. president Barack Obama, the Honduran Council of Private Companies (Cohep) said on Tuesday.
"It is time for the region to be seen not from an option based on political suitability, but from an economic perspective, as a bridge to the U.S. investment," Cohep's vice president Alejandro Alvarez told the local daily "La Tribuna."
The Honduran businessmen remain confident that Obama's visit to El Salvador will help generate employment and increase Central American exports, Alvarez added.
He also said that Obama's visit should be used to request U.S. support in generating electric energy which could turn El Salvador into an energy exporting country.
Obama arrived earlier Tuesday in El Salvador after visits to Brazil and Chile. He will wrap up his 5-day-trip to Latin America in EL Salvador Wednesday. This is Obama's first trip to Central and South America.
The last U.S. president to visit Central America was President Bill Clinton who visited El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua in March 1999 to assess the damage by Hurricane Mitch in October and November 1998 which left some 10,000 people killed in the region.
Obama says Latin America important to U.S.
SANTIAGO, March 21 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday said Latin America is more important than ever to the United States today, and the continent will continue to grow in its importance to its northern neighbor in the years to come.
"Latin America is more important to the United States than never before and it will become even more important. Latin America is collaborating more toward the global prosperity. There are no lower or higher partners here, only equal partners," Obama said in Chile, the second stop on his first visit to South and Central America. Full story.