The US push to increase job opportunities in Central America is gaining momentum, with Visa and Gap Inc. joining the ranks of American multinationals committing to invest in the region.
Visa agreed to invest US$270 million to bring more than 6 million people into the formal banking system, according to Reuters. Apparel vendor Gap Inc. would invest US$150 million to source more materials from the region.
The new round of investment commitments came as the Summit of Americas got underway in Los Angeles, California.
The Joe Biden administration has been emphasizing that economic integration with Central America would stem the flow of immigrants into its territory.
The initiative -named “Call to Action”- was first announced in April 2021. In its first round, dozens of companies took part, including Microsoft and MasterCard. These companies pledged to invest around US$3 billion in the region so far.
Microsoft pledged to grant Internet access to at least 3 million people in the region, while MasterCard will work towards building a formal banking system.
Analysts have argued that violence and the lack of job opportunities are the two main factors behind Central American migration to the US.