Guatemala, September 22nd
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Guatemala
land for Investment
Economic engine
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Welcome

Dear Investor Friends:

Guatemala has positioned itself as Central America’s economic center (representing 35% of the region’s GDP) and the business hub in the Mesoamerican region, thanks to the vision of competitiveness, transparency, and legal certitude both public and private sectors have committed to, in order to achieve economic and social development in the country.  

The competitive advantages Guatemala has to offer, such as geographical location, wealth of resources, high quality in labor and a high performance in logistics, added to a solid infrastructure and an ever growing avidity for technology, positions our country as the metropolis of Central America.

Since 2003, Guatemala has shown a growth of 375.6% in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), a fact that demonstrates the strength of our economy and the confidence of big foreign and multinational companies.

Here we know that foreign investment plays a key role in the growth of the economy, strengthening the productive sector and generating jobs, as well as transferring valuable knowledge, which, undoubtedly, is basic for the country’s development.

This is why us, Guatemalans, are focused on assuring confidence to the investor by promoting new, stable, and competitive frameworks. Thanks to these steady and consistent efforts, international grading agencies have upgraded the result of their country evaluations, and now, we provide the best business climate in the DR-Cafta area, according to the study Doing Business from the World Bank.

We give the warmest welcome to all potential investors in Guatemala, a country with strategic and competitive advantages where your investment will prosper.

To invest in Guatemala is your best  decision.

Warmly,


Sergio de la Torre Gimeno
Ministry of Economy of Guatemala

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Why invest in Guatemala

STRATEGIC LOCATION

Guatemala’s geographical location is strategic; it is the perfect platform for the largest markets in the World. We have privileged access to both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans, facilitating direct commerce with Asia, North America and Europe, through modern seaports. Furthermore, Guatemala serves as the hinge of Meso-America, a region with great potential due to over 50 urban centers conforming the region, 25 of which are located in Central America and with a population of 68 million inhabitants and a economy of US$ 319 billions.

ECONOMIC ACCESS

Guatemala aims to promote the free establishment of businesses in the country. Customs barriers have been reduced or eliminated and the present government is committed to instituting transparency and legal certainty, understanding that such are a priority in attracting investments.  

The work and commitment of the government to reform the economy acknowledge the importance of becoming a nation of free trade, and trade agreements have thus been reached with the following countries:

  • Mexico - Central America – Panama - The United States of America - The Dominican Republic
  • Colombia – Taiwan - Chile

Guatemala also has partial agreements with: Belize, Cuba and Venezuela.

These trade agreements constitute a tool for the country’s development and are fundamental for the promotion of direct foreign investments. Moreover, they enable the promotion of greater and better opportunities for local consumers and provide broader access to Guatemalan products in the international markets. It is also worthwhile mentioning that Guatemala is presently in the process of negotiating free trade agreements with the European Union, and Canada. 

For more information:  http://portaldace.mineco.gob.gt/tratados-y-acuerdos-comerciales

First

first

Welcome

Dear Investor Friends:

Guatemala has positioned itself as Central America’s economic center (representing 35% of the region’s GDP) and the business hub in the Mesoamerican region, thanks to the vision of competitiveness, transparency, and legal certitude both public and private sectors have committed to, in order to achieve economic and social development in the country.  

The competitive advantages Guatemala has to offer, such as geographical location, wealth of resources, high quality in labor and a high performance in logistics, added to a solid infrastructure and an ever growing avidity for technology, positions our country as the metropolis of Central America.

Since 2003, Guatemala has shown a growth of 375.6% in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), a fact that demonstrates the strength of our economy and the confidence of big foreign and multinational companies.

Here we know that foreign investment plays a key role in the growth of the economy, strengthening the productive sector and generating jobs, as well as transferring valuable knowledge, which, undoubtedly, is basic for the country’s development.

This is why us, Guatemalans, are focused on assuring confidence to the investor by promoting new, stable, and competitive frameworks. Thanks to these steady and consistent efforts, international grading agencies have upgraded the result of their country evaluations, and now, we provide the best business climate in the DR-Cafta area, according to the study Doing Business from the World Bank.

We give the warmest welcome to all potential investors in Guatemala, a country with strategic and competitive advantages where your investment will prosper.

To invest in Guatemala is your best  decision.

Warmly,


Sergio de la Torre Gimeno
Ministry of Economy of Guatemala

Why invest in Guatemala

STRATEGIC LOCATION

Guatemala’s geographical location is strategic; it is the perfect platform for the largest markets in the World. We have privileged access to both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans, facilitating direct commerce with Asia, North America and Europe, through modern seaports. Furthermore, Guatemala serves as the hinge of Meso-America, a region with great potential due to over 50 urban centers conforming the region, 25 of which are located in Central America and with a population of 68 million inhabitants and a economy of US$ 319 billions.

ECONOMIC ACCESS

Guatemala aims to promote the free establishment of businesses in the country. Customs barriers have been reduced or eliminated and the present government is committed to instituting transparency and legal certainty, understanding that such are a priority in attracting investments.  

The work and commitment of the government to reform the economy acknowledge the importance of becoming a nation of free trade, and trade agreements have thus been reached with the following countries:

  • Mexico - Central America – Panama - The United States of America - The Dominican Republic
  • Colombia – Taiwan - Chile

Guatemala also has partial agreements with: Belize, Cuba and Venezuela.

These trade agreements constitute a tool for the country’s development and are fundamental for the promotion of direct foreign investments. Moreover, they enable the promotion of greater and better opportunities for local consumers and provide broader access to Guatemalan products in the international markets. It is also worthwhile mentioning that Guatemala is presently in the process of negotiating free trade agreements with the European Union, and Canada. 

For more information:  http://portaldace.mineco.gob.gt/tratados-y-acuerdos-comerciales

Investment Sectors
Food Industry

Food Industry

  • Closeness to North America and fast Access to its markets: USA and Canada with more than 325 million inhabitants, Mexico with 100 million inhabitants, and Central America with 37 million inhabitants.
  • Located within the tropical zone of the northern hemisphere: there are 360 micro climates which are beneficial to almost every type of crop.
  • Abundant labor at competitive costs.
  • Cargo ports on the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
  • Outstanding quality-price ratio.
  • The sugar industry is acknowledged as number 1 in efficiency and productivity in the world thanks to the technology used by the sugar mills.
  • Raw materials availability: due to the diversity of agricultural products grown in Guatemala, its processing is made easy and the costs are brought down.
  • High technology applied in the sugar industry, under the world’s best standards.
  • Guatemala shows a higher yield in weight in crops like cacao, sugar cane, coconuts, strawberries, apples, and black pepper, than in the other competitor countries.
  • In the case of sugar cane, Guatemala stands out by having the highest yield in Latin America and the Caribbean region, at a level of four and a half times the minimum yield (Dominica).
  • Guatemala is the fourth largest exporter in the world and the second in Latin America.
BPO

BPO

This sector has ideal characteristics for a sound investment, which translates into clear competitive advantages for the country:

  • Human talent with excellent quality standards.
  • A culture oriented to customer service.
  • A total work force of 6.2 million people mainly characterized for its youth
  • Largest student population in Central America.  Guatemala has more than 312,700 enrolled students in Guatemala’s 14 universities, through their 26 majors, the highest figure in all of Central America.
  • The Guatemalan-American Institute (IGA) trains 7,000 students in English; (USAC) Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala, has 32,000 students; moreover, INTECAP offers intensive language courses.
  • Flexible and competitive telecommunication laws, with great advantages in terms of infrastructure in Latin America.
Energy and Oil

Energy and Oil

  • Mature market + delimited and specific legal framework.
  • Potential reserves of 750 million barrels of oil; gas reserves of 330 k/p3/ per day and potential capacity to supply power to the national and regional markets.1
  • Optimal infrastructure in hydrocarbons storage, up to 600,000 barrels.
  • 147 drilled oil wells + important connection of oil pipeline, 570 Km (354.2 mi) which connects to the main export port located on the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Oil production of 10,945 barrels of crude oil per day in 2011, according to data from the Ministry of Energy and Mines. Most of this oil has been labeled as “heavy crude oil” (with API gravities between 10 and 22.3), and "bitter" (with a sulphur content percentage higher than 1%).
  • The total production in the period 2001-2011 was 77.4 million barrels.
Light Manufacturing

Light Manufactory

  • In 2012 this sector accounted for 19.11% of the nation’s GDP, generating approximately US$9.53 billion in profits.
  • The income from exports rose to US$2.02 billion in the same year.1
  • The sector is also important in attracting FDI: it accounted for 14.6% of Guatemala’s total Foreign Direct Investment in 2011, with income of US$149.7 million nationwide.
  • Availability of skilled labor with high aggregated value for big markets requirements, at more competitive prices than in other Central American countries.
  • The existence of a technical training center managed by the state, aimed at the Guatemalan work force: The Technical Institute for Training and Productivity (INTECAP) offers courses at world levels in different relevant areas for the sector.
  • Guatemala is the biggest market in the entire Central American region: it accounts for 35% of the total regional GDP.
  • Strategic geographical location for the development of exports and participation in the main international markets. It gets complemented by the Free Trade Agreements and Preferential Agreements signed with countries like the USA, Mexico, Central America, Chile, Colombia, European Union, and Taiwan, among others.
Tourism

Tourism

  • Guatemala has broad natural resources, a historical past, and a cosmopolitan development in its Capital City, which is attractive to tourists from all over the world.
  • Strategic geographical location.
  • A legal framework that encourages investment and support from government to the tourism sector.
  • The arrival of cruise ships to the country increased in 50% between the 2011-2012 season and the 2012-2013 season.
  • The cruise ships fleet Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, increased its moorings in the country 183% between the 2011-2012 season and the 2012-2013 season.
  • The Guatemala Tourism Institute -INGUAT- consolidated the “Mesoamerican Route", a new cruise ship route at regional level that includes countries like Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico (Chiapas and Huatulco). It will be launched in 2014, through two cruise ships from Azamara Club Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd.
  • For the new cruise ships season, the country has assured 4 new cruise ships lines: Saga, Great Lakes Cruise, Noble Caledonia, and Carnival Cruises (the biggest cruise ships line in the world). 
  • The average stay of a tourist is 7 days.
Garments and Textiles

Garments and Textiles

  • There is a commission in Guatemala, Garments and Textiles Commission (VESTEX), a cluster in charge of promoting the sector through technical assistance, training, information, marketing, exports promotion, and contacts at international and governmental levels.
  • Guatemala boasts 140 garments companies, 41 textiles and yarn plants, and 260 companies for accessories and services.
  • This sector is considered a net exporter, and thus the free trade zones in Guatemala provide the perfect opportunity for establishment here.  As of December 2012, Guatemala had 18 free trade zones registered under the Decree 65-89, located in the main zones of the country. There are other incentives from legislation exempting taxes to those who invest in this sector.
  • The Central American region accounts for an important 14% of garments and textiles exports.
  • The labor related to this sector has more than 30 years of experience. It is renowned for its skill in manufacturing products under high quality standards. This, added to the different training programs from institutions like INTECAP, the Garments and Textiles Industry Association -VESTEX-, and the different higher education programs at local universities in Guatemala, provide the sector with skilled labor for the quality requirements demanded by this sector.
Forestry

Forestry

  • Government offers subsidies for the establishment of forest plantations, and support the preservation and handling of natural forests, for production purposes as well as for protection.
  • There is a forest cluster linked to the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Feeding and to the private sector of Guatemala, which present benefits to the investor, aiming at raising the competitiveness of the sector, and promoting business and exports.
  • An excellent geographical location allows covering not only the Mesoamerican market, but the participation of international markets as well. 
  • Guatemala has a total of 772,078.94 hectares of forest surface, divided into forest concessions (62.5%), natural forests (25.5%), and plantations (12.0%). From the total of forest surface in the country, 82% correspond to broadleaf forests, 10% to conifers, and the remaining 8% to mixed forests.
Mining

Mining

  • Stable legal framework, focused on establishing dynamism and competitiveness in the market.
  • A trend in an increase in the demand and international prices of minerals in the main world markets.
  • Strategic geographical location which allows the exportation of products to the whole world, thanks to easy access to the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
  • Guatemala has skilled human resources, proven for the development of the mining industry.
  • According to the Ministry of Energy and Mines, the national mining production reached total revenue of US$ 934.1 million in 2011.
Infrastructure

Infrastructure

  • Guatemala seeks to attract more than US$1.3 billion in investment through a six infrastructure projects portfolio which are in the study stage under the name Private-Public Alliances, according to the Ministry of Communication, Infrastructure, and Housing, and the National Agency for the Development of Economic Infrastructure:
  • Build an industrial park on the border with Mexico.
  • Recover the Port of Champerico.
  • Build a bulk terminal for solid and liquid products in Puerto Santo Tomás de Castilla.
  • Build a toll highway between Palencia and San José Pinula and another between Bárcenas and Road to El Salvador to avoid passing through Guatemala City.
  • Build a toll highway between Escuintla and Puerto San José.
  • Inter-Oceanic Canal: The Inter-Oceanic Corridor Project of Guatemala is promoted by the companies’ consortium.

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