Honduran business leader, Luis Napoleón Larach, is in Washington DC for a joint visit with other leaders of the business leaders of Central America to explain the situation of their countries, about the relationship and objectives for the region drawn by United States.
Larach is the president of the Honduran Council of Private Enterprise (COHEP) and in an interview with “El Diario de Hoy” he highlights the advances of the neighboring country in different areas to seek the development demanded by the Honduran people.
He notes the constructive and fruitful dialogue between the private sector and the government of President Juan Orlando Hernández as positive and how mutual contributions have served to reverse the negative indicators that a few years ago placed Honduras on the most critical stages of insecurity and lack of opportunities.
He values the contributions of US cooperation along with the North Triangle of Central America Prosperity Alliance Plan, whose initial funding is $ 650 million dollars and the capitalization of joint investments with the private sector in his country.
What is the importance of this visit to Washington as a representative of the private sector of Honduras?
This time we are working together with all the presidents of the business leader organizations of Central America to make a courtesy visit to different organizations and institutions of the United States government, where we will be presenting our work plan for the North Triangle Prosperity Alliance Plan. Recalling that when we refer to the Northern Triangle, the beginning of a plan (Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador), but includes the rest of the countries, including Mexico, Belize, and the rest of the Central American countries.
As a form of a regional consensual approach?
Yes, we are studying the common themes that unite us, problems on which we have to seek solutions together instead of making a wall, as we have talked about the migration issue, We are all concerned that migration has a very high cost for our countries, ranging from family disintegration and the problems that lead to citizen insecurity, among others.
How receptive have you felt to your unified message as a Central American private sector?
Very good, there is a full awareness at the level of the private sector of our countries as well as at the level of the United States government that the best way to face the problems in the region is through the generation of opportunities. Our challenge is how to strengthen those economic bases to generate opportunities for our people. There is no better social program or social assistance than decent and sustainable employment.
How much can the private sector capitalize the $ 650 million US donation to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador in the North Triangle plan?
I can talk about Honduras particularly. We are developing a program together with the government, where we not only participate in the work tables and in the decision-making process, but we are also contributing almost 50 percent of the resources needed to be able to develop this program. Also, we are investing in agriculture and housing development programs that are required to generate opportunities for our people through investment. This programs are not donations, this are self-sustaining programs that generate a profitability, which is reinvested to continue generating employment and development.
We have seen compliments from Senior US Government Officials regarding the country´s advances after the political instability in 2009. How solid is it?
We had our first political instability in 2009, after being a very stable country. However, we have recovered in this matter and we are approaching a new electoral process that will take place on November 26, and we hope that it will be carried out as a true civic party, with peace and tranquility, as a rule of democracy.
And is there enough progress in economic matters?
The economic sector is a good indicator. In our case, it has been growing above the estimates that had been projected for this year, considering that this is a political year, it is atypical because normally even in the United States when approaching an electoral process the investments are stagnant, but this is not the case in Honduras where we had projected to grow 3.6 percent on GDP (Gross Domestic Producer), but we will exceed 4.1 percent, which indicates that even in an election year we continue to grow.
What about the security?
We were mentioned as one of the most violent countries in the world, San Pedro Sula one of the most dangerous cities, which was never true. I can assure you that insecurity levels that the country reflected a few years ago have been completely reversed. It is not paradise yet, but we have managed to reverse those negative trends by more than 50 percent compared to the levels we had previously.
Security matters also received praise in Washington…
Yes, United States has qualified us as “The Honduran miracle”, because our authorities and justice operators are doing an excellent job.