Javier Siman, Salvadoran businessman leader, and lawyer

By Karla Ramos  |  Aug 21st, 2022
Javier SimanJavier Siman

Javier Siman is a Salvadoran businessman leader and lawyer. He is the current president of ANEP, the National Association of private businesses.

Javier Siman warns that an economic crisis is coming to El Salvador, the government disagrees.

Javier Siman, a renowned businessman and president of the National Association of Private Enterprises (ANEP), last week in various televised events, expressed that an economic crisis is coming to El Salvador in 2021.

Siman expressed that the high level of debt acquired by the Nayib Bukele administration has put the country on the wrong path that will lead to an increase in taxes, loss of jobs, and more poverty.

“Due to the high level of indebtedness, an economic crisis is coming; it is a perfect storm with poverty, bad economy, violence, and unemployment.” Siman indicated.

Javier Siman has been a critic of president Bukele’s government style; he referred to Bukele as a populist president who needs to have someone to confront to increase their popularity.

Since becoming president, president Bukele has had a confrontation with the press, the constitutional chamber, the legislative assembly, and the Salvadoran electoral tribunal.

Siman also expressed that the role of ANEP is to question what the people in government are doing with public funds, “We don’t mind paying taxes, as long as they use it properly.” Siman has criticized the lack of transparency the Bukele administration has shown regarding public funds used for the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This government will increase taxes (IVA), which will cause inflation, which means that everything becomes more expensive; this will affect the poorest who will have less money in their pockets.” Javier Siman.

The Nayib Bukele administration admits that the country was forced to incur more debt to manage the COVID-19 pandemic; however, they do not share Siman’s outlook on tax increases or that an economic crisis is coming.

The response to Siman’s allegations, Alejandro Zelaya, the finance minister, stated the following. “I don’t usually pay attention to this individual, his desperation because ARENA and others who were tolerant of tax evasion, return to power are more than evident. I will say it one more time: we are not going to increase taxes; what we will do is to continue fighting tax evasion.”

Since taking over as Finance Minister, Zelaya has presented to the Salvadoran Attorney General FGR over 70 tax evasion cases. The Bukele administration is counting on stopping tax evasion as a way to increase the country’s income.

Javier Siman profile.

Siman was born in Salvador in June 1964 to Maria Elena Dada de Siman and Teofilo Jose Siman Jacir, both Salvadorans of Spanish and Palestinian origin.

Javier Siman is a recognizable business leader in El Salvador. From 2010 to 2017, Javier Siman was the president of the Salvadoran Association of Industrialists (ASI).

He was also a director of the National Association of Private Enterprises (ANEP) from 2010 to 2018.

Since May 2020, Siman is the President of the National Association of Private Enterprise (ANEP). This union represents over 50 business sectors of the economy. In 2021, Siman was re-elected as president of ANEP for a second term.

Javier Siman and politics.

Siman’s life in politics was short; in 2018, he postulated himself as a presidential candidate for the right-wing political party ARENA. However, he lost in ARENA’s primary elections to Carlos Callejas.

After his loss to Callejas, Siman returned to the private sector. He has indicated that he has no intention to be a politician; however, he continues to be involved in politics as a critic.

Even though Javier Siman is not a politician, many Salvadorans see him as, political leader. Javier Siman has been a harsh critic of President Nayib Bukele and his administration.


Siman studied Law at Loyola University School of Law, obtaining a Juris Doctor degree; he was admitted as a lawyer in October 1990 by the Louisiana State Supreme Court of Justice.