Specialized Textiles and Apparel



Vertical integration of the supply chain, allowing easy market access


The textile and apparel sector is one of the main engines for the development of El Salvador, with a value chain that has been consolidating and integrating towards more value added products.


The dynamic process of vertical integration of the industry has incorporated all production activities of the textile and apparel chain, from the production of fibers, manufacture of yarns and fabrics, product design, garment manufacturing and the associated logistics, besides offering countless opportunities to enter new businesses in the upper and lower end of the value chain and related activities.

The sector offers attractive opportunities for companies venturing in international markets on favorable terms and in an expedite manner.


Manufacture of yarns and Fabrics (Natural and synthetic)


The fabric deficit in Central America makes textile investment appealing;  especially for fabrics produced with synthetic fibers (nylon, polyester, microfibers and others), as these are given preferential access to the United States. On the other hand, fabrics from other regions such as Asia pay a 32% rate.


Manufacture of knitted garments with accessories and embellishments (embroidery, screen printing, heat transfers, etc.), athletic wear, sportswear, performance wear and swimwear.


Global industry increasingly demands shorter delivery times for their products. El Salvador has the advantage of having a vertically integrated supply chain and an ideal geographical location close to target markets. This allows providing, within deadlines, high value added niches and high turnover. Some of these niche markets are: sportswear, women's apparel (blouses, skirts, bathing suits / swimwear, dresses), men's shirts, socks, among others.


Manufacture of garments included in the "Cut and Assemble" Rule of Origin category: bras, girl dresses, boxer shorts, sleepwear, luggage, among others.  


Garments under the single transformation category enter duty free into the United States. This category allows making garments in the country, using fabrics from anywhere in the world. Manufactured products classified under this category are: bras, girl dresses, boxers, pajamas and suitcases, among others.



  • El Salvador has significant competitive advantages for the location of textile and apparel companies, highlighting the speed to market and geographic proximity, complemented with free trade agreements that give access to an important customer market. The Free Trade Agreements El Salvador offers with several countries allows access to a potential market of 1,200 million customers worldwide.


  • The Yarn forward rule of origin granted by the CAFTA-DR, allows free access for qualifying textile and apparel products made using U.S. and/or Central America-DR yarns and fabrics (nylon, polyester, micro fiber, among others –products paying a 32% tariff when imported from Asia through the U.S.)


  • El Salvador has one of the most competitive labor costs in Central America, including fringe benefits and a qualified workforce that outstands in the region.


  • It is the only country that has been able to develop a full synthetic cluster in Central America.

Actualizado 10/06/2015


Celia Hernández

Textile and Apparel Investment Specialist

+503 2592-7024

+503 7071-7024

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