The Minister of Economy of Guatemala, Antonio Malouf, held today an institutional meeting at CEOE, in which Guatemala highlighted as a destination for Spanish investment and as a priority axis and coordinator of Central America. The Secretary of State for Commerce, Xiana Méndez; the vice president of CEOE and president of CEPYME, Gerardo Cuerva; and the general director of the Chamber of Commerce, Immaculate Riera. Likewise, business and investment opportunities were presented for Spanish companies, derived from the process of industrialization of Guatemala, in key sectors of its economy such as renewable energy, textiles, infrastructure, agribusiness and tourism, among others.

The Secretary of State for Commerce highlighted the role of Spain in Guatemala, where our country is the first European investor and the sixth largest in the world. “Spanish investment is attracted to Guatemala, not only because it is the largest economy in the Region, but because it is the gateway to the Central American market, and because, in addition, the country has high cost competitiveness and requires for its development of a high investment in infrastructure ”.

Méndez also stressed the efforts carried out by the Guatemalan authorities to generate a favorable business climate, taking advantage of the high levels of competitiveness offered by the country and providing a favorable framework for investment. The Secretary of State announced the celebration of high-level multi-sector partnership days, which will be held in May in Guatemala, to present opportunities for Spanish companies in key sectors of the country, such as infrastructure (transport) , water, health and energy; as well as the National Innovation and Development Plan of Guatemala, which President Giammattei already advanced in his visit to Spain last December.

Public-private collaboration

The Vice President of CEOE and President of CEPYME, Gerardo Cuerva, reported on the investments and projects developed by Spanish companies in strategic sectors of the Guatemalan economy, such as telecommunications, energy and agribusiness; as well as the intensification of commercial exchanges, which show the interest and commitment of companies in maintaining and strengthening the business link between the two countries, "a fact that places us as the main European investor in Guatemala," he said. Cuerva recalled the recent visit of the President of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, and highlighted the close collaboration and joint work to prepare and develop the last Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government held in Antigua. In reference to this collaboration, Cuerva stressed, in the case of Spain we have extended it to the public-private sphere, through the alliance within the framework of the tripartite with the Secretary of State for Commerce, through ICEX; CEOE; and the Chamber of Commerce of Spain, thus promoting the process of internationalization of Spanish companies and improving the competitiveness and productivity of our economies.

The president of CEPYME also transmitted the full disposition of CEOE to strengthen bilateral business relations, in collaboration with the institutions of both countries and with the Coordinating Committee of Agricultural, Commercial, Industrial and Financial Associations (CACIF), with which we maintain a strong link in the International Organization of Employers (OIE) and within the Council of Ibero-American Businessmen (CEIB), “which we put at your service and total willingness to collaborate in regional integration and turn Guatemala into the engine of the Central American economy, ”he said. He also highlighted the intense activity (forums, meetings, seminars, trips) that takes place within the framework of the agreement between the Secretary of State for Commerce, CEOE and the Chamber of Commerce of Spain and, “a clear example of this It is the organization of today's meeting with the Minister of Economy of Guatemala, ”he said.

The general director of the Chamber of Spain, Immaculate Riera, highlighted the opportunities generated by the 2013 European Union-Central America Association Agreement, which has allowed “boost trade between the two regions, favoring greater economic integration and opening our markets to new companies, particularly SMEs. ” The director general of the Chamber of Spain praised the country's potential to “attract foreign investment flows, provide legal certainty, protect investments and promote employment generation,” reasons why she believes that “Guatemala should be one of the countries from the region where we focus our efforts. ”

Riera also said that "the Spanish Chambers of Commerce reiterate our willingness to the Government to maintain a fluid relationship and strengthen ties between our business communities, identifying new sectors for our association." In this regard, he also underlined the effort made by both the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB), and the Council of Ibero-American Businessmen (CEIB), to promote and intensify cooperation in the Ibero-American region, by carrying out activities and events in the various countries, including Guatemala.

Guatemala, engine of Central America

The Guatemalan Minister of Economy encouraged Spanish entrepreneurs to invest in Guatemala, as it represents an excellent logistics platform, which allows direct access to the Pacific and Atlantic Coast. In this sense, the country is perfectly connected, thanks to 2 international airports, 9 local airfields, 22 commercial airlines and 11 cargo airlines. In Guatemala there is also the second largest maritime cargo operation in Central America in three ports: Santo Tomás de Castilla, Puerto Barrios in the Atlantic and Puerto Quetzal in the Pacific. Malouf also said that the country has the largest installed capacity in Central America for energy production.

The Guatemalan minister highlighted that the country has access to the main markets, as it represents the gateway to the largest market in Latin America, Mexico; access to the largest market in the world, the United States, thanks to the Free Trade Agreement with this country; to the Central American market, the largest economy in the Region and which amounts to US $ 266,000 million; and access to the European market through the Association Agreement.


The Minister of Economy of Guatemala, Antonio Malouf, highlighted the National Plan for Innovation and Development and mentioned the investment opportunities that exist in key sectors, especially in infrastructure. He also advocated generating the conditions for the creation of increasingly productive jobs; promote innovation, technology and productivity inside and outside companies; promote trade, competitiveness and investment; boost the size and sales of MSMEs and entrepreneurship; and facilitate business, competition and ensure legal certainty for businesses and consumers. Malouf also insisted that the Government intends to promote the generation of formal employment, increase the sophistication and quality of exports and facilitate the conduct of business in Guatemala.

For more information:

For more information, you can contact the Commercial, Investment and Tourism attaché of the Embassy of Guatemala in Spain, Carlos Augusto Medrano, on the phone: 91 344 17 22/14 17 or in the mail: comercial@embajadaguatemala.es.

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