Pharmaceuticals and medical supplies

Importance of the Sector in Guatemala:

  • Guatemala has the region's largest pharmaceutical market, with US$1,510,536.1 in sales, accounting for 25% of total pharmaceutical sales in the region.

  • Guatemala is Central America's leading exporter, with +245 million dollars in exports in 2020. (95 percent of ethical products).

  • By 2021, ethical products were worth $694,495,494.

  • The ethical market is divided into two segments: research and development of original pharmaceuticals (32%), and generic products (68%).

  • The therapeutics market will grow by 18% by 2021 compared to 2020.

  • The Central American Technical Regulations - RTCA- govern the legal framework for pharmaceutical products and medical equipment in Guatemala.

  • Mutual recognition of sanitary registrations in El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica benefits Guatemalan products.

Ventajas del Sector

Foreign Trade:

Total pharmaceutical and medical-supplies trade (imports and exports) reached USD 1.3 billion in 2019 and an accumulated amount of USD 8.8 billion from 2014 to July 2020. Exports for the whole of last year were USD 401 million, while imports reached USD 978 million. The compound annual growth rate was 2.9% for total trade, stable exports and 4.2% for imports.

According to SIECA’s classification, medical supplies can be divided into the following categories: medications, medical equipment, medical supplies, and personal-protection equipment.

Guatemala’s Foreign Trade (amounts in USD million)

Source: Prepared by Mineco with figures from the Bank of Guatemala.

According to this classification, average trade for 2014 to 2019 was constituted as follows: 63% by medications, 22% by personal-protection equipment, 4% by medical equipment, and 9.7% by medical supplies.


(Figures in percent)


(Figures in percent)

Trade Agreements in Force:

Guatemala is signatory of various trade agreements that allow it preferential access to the following markets:










We invite you to learn more about investment opportunities in pharmaceuticals and medical supplies.

Costos Industriales:

Electric Power

Guatemala has the most competitive electricity rates in the Central American region. The cost per kWh is between USD 0.10 for industrial users and USD 0.16 for commercial users. Those users with electricity demand above 100 kW may register as large users and negotiate their electric-power contracts.


In the municipality of Guatemala (if the service is provided by the municipal government):

• The cost of purchasing the rights to water service ranges from: USD 779.22 to USD 6493.50.
• The fee for private water consumption varies, depending on the range of consumption. The endpoints are from 1 to 20 m3, a fixed rate of USD 2.08 plus USD 0.29 per m3 used, and for 121 m3 and up, a fixed rate of USD 2.08 plus
USD 1.45 per m3 used.

Average Monthly Salary

To manufacture pharmaceutical, medical-chemical, and botanical products for pharmaceutical use , USD 1,219.89

• To manufacture soaps and detergents, cleaning and polishing preparations,
perfumes, and toiletries , USD 984.35


Warehouse: a monthly rent ranging from USD 3.50 – USD 6.00 per square meter in the Municipality of Guatemala and coalesced municipalities such as Mixco, Amatitlán and Villa Nueva.

Industrial park: a monthly rent ranging from USD 3.50 – USD 6.00 per square meter in the Municipality of Guatemala and surrounding areas

Special Public Economic Development Zones: a monthly rent within a range of USD 6.50 per square meter in the departments of Escuintla and San