The new areas for attracting investment that the government will bet on, according to the Ministry of Economy – 2024-02-27 07:00:00

The Minister of Economy, Gabriela García Quinn, stated that, although the country is “known for its classic agribusiness and textile areas” It also has “more possibilities” in renewable energies or “new industries such as pharmaceuticals and the production of medical devices.”

These sectors, according to him, “have not been explored as much” and now they want to “position themselves as a new opportunity,” reported the Efe agency.

The official’s comments arose in Spain, during the visit she made to the headquarters of the Spanish Confederation of Business Organizations (CEOE) in Madrid, where this week she was with the president, Bernardo Arévalo, as part of an official visit.

The minister explained the business possibilities that they want to promote and assures that so far, one month after Arévalo’s inauguration, they have not received “nervousness” from investors but rather “renewed expectations,” it was added.

“In Spain it has been a very good welcome, with many expectations towards better business practices for those who have already invested in the country and who still have some challenges, we are collecting the information to know in detail what is affecting their businesses In our country, the idea is that with this new Government we can solve it as soon as possible and give confidence so that they continue investing,” he emphasizes.

Thus, García wants these businesses already established in the country to “grow”, but he also wants “new ones to come.”

“I believe that this visit to Spain builds trust and allows exchange with both government officials and businessmen and will give us a clearer route of where we need to plan short-term actions to facilitate business and medium and long-term actions that something much more fluid,” he says.

The sectors

In Guatemala, the minister commented in statements to Free Press during January and February that regarding the proposal to attract foreign direct investment there are already identified sectors, “we are not going to do anything that has not been said before” such as agriculture and agro-agroindustry, among others, “but here the idea not only “It is not about working on exports, but rather that companies come to the country that allow technological innovation by uniting with the local businessman.”

In addition, he mentioned that the topic of call center and BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) will continue to be developed.

Other sectors that already attract investments, but must continue to be explored and developed, are pharmaceuticals, the electrical and electronics sector, he added.

“We are not going to leave what is already established, to follow those routes and have results in the short and medium term, and in this subsector development we are going to find other aspects where we can see if there are companies that want to come here, but we have “We have to go in an orderly manner, we cannot bet on everything.”

García added, without going into details, that there are some portfolios of companies that were interested in coming to the country, which have been in the works for 4 or 5 years, but “the issue of promoting Guatemala as an investment destination takes time.”

When a new government arrives, “confidence rises, many of these intentions to come to the country to invest are reactivated”, at this moment there is already more than half of the way traveled because they have already come to Guatemala, perhaps they located the place, they identified the sector and local allies and now the part of arriving and starting the construction of a new plant, the union with a local businessman to advance faster, added the official.

There are sectors where there is already a path traveled, such as the service sector, which continues on its path and does not need much intervention, but there are other sectors that need a little more support from both the public and private sectors, such as the issue of pharma, medical devices. , electrical and electronic devices, García-Quinn insisted, in statements to the national media.

For the year 2024, an approximate amount of US$1.4 billion has been managed, and with commitments of investment intentions a little more, but we want to manage a moderate amount, “because between the variant of when an entrepreneur decides to invest and does so, there are many things. that can happen, it does not mean that it will not arrive, it means that it can arrive a little later.”

And, he considers that this forecast would not be lowered because there is already a dynamic of several years of work with companies that had already come to Guatemala and were only waiting for the process, of change of government, and now the disbursement of the transactions can be completed and “I trust “That (the amount) is the minimum.”

“I am confident that this year we are going to have better projections, and investments that actually reach the country and are accounted for as they should be,” he added, explaining regarding the figures, that work has already been done with the Bank of Guatemala and with officials who They work on the issue of attracting investment, to unify the criteria “to provide correct information and not generate expectations with projections because foreign direct investment takes time.”

He explained, for example, that a difference must be made, some data are projections and others are the transactions or disbursements that companies make when they arrive in Guatemala.

According to Banguat data, as of September 2023, US$1,136.1 million were recorded in foreign direct investment.

Strengthen institutions

The great objective of the Guatemalan government is to “strengthen the institutions” and “leave a better Guatemala to whoever comes after,” according to the minister, who would consider herself “satisfied” if, after the four years of Government that lie ahead, “the world sees the country as a place to invest,” the agency added.

García-Quinn insists that despite the difficult political transition that President Arévalo suffered before taking office, he does not believe that this situation will affect the image and economy of the country and assures that they are already “cleaning the house” in the different ministries to improve practices.

“We already found the challenges and obstacles, we have to fix what we found a little, some things that were not very good, as we say: we are cleaning the house, some practices that were not the best and it has had an impact on business at the level of transparency,” he shares.

For this reason, he explains that the “agenda” of the Government and its ministry is “divided into two”: “trade and investment, but also the part of legal certainty, processes, digitalization, making all issues transparent that allow companies to know where There are your files for example, something very technical like procedures, but that is what gives the basis for companies to grow and with certainty.”

When talking about Spain, he said that he believes there are extensive avenues for exchange and collaboration, also in areas such as the fight against corruption or violence in the country.

“Surely we can cooperate with Spain (on these issues), the relations have always been very good, friendship and trade, and within those possibilities, even business, investments can be made that allow us to strengthen the security entities because at the same time In the end, they are products, processes and practices and there are companies that are dedicated to that,” said the minister.

With information from the Efe agency

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