Guatemalan Market

Guatemala Market Overview

Guatemala is a country that is experiencing a rapid shift in its political and social development.   Free and fair national elections are held to determine political leaders in Guatemala, and officials are seeking to improve relations with the United States by emphasizing a shared agenda with the U.S. on trade, shared investment strategies, and the fight against corruption and transnational crimes.   Any hurdles to investing in Guatemala are thus bureaucratic in nature, and Guatemala’s government is working toward overcoming them.  
President Alvaro Colom of the National Unity for Hope Party was elected in 2007 promising his commitment to democracy by accelerating rural development, improving education in Guatemala, and providing better access to the countries health care system (Cited from Doing Business, 2010).


The signing of the U.S. Central America Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) on August 5th, 2004, provides for the removal of tariffs and quotas on more 80% of U.S. exports, while the remaining 20% of tariffs and quotas are phased out by 2014 (Doing Business; Guatemala, 2010).
This new   treaty makes Guatemala an excellent market prospect for U.S. products. Guatemalan GDP reached an estimated USD 38.9 billion in 2008 and exports from the United States to Guatemala exceeded USD 4.7 billion. U.S. products and services enjoy high name recognition in Guatemala, and U.S. firms have a good reputation in the Guatemalan   marketplace. As a result, more than one third of all Guatemalan imports come from the United States. Guatemala can also be an attractive place for foreign investment, despite some persisting challenges.
With a population of around 13.7 million and an estimated population growth rate of 2.06%, it is the largest country in Central America and accounts for more than one-third of the region’s GDP. Guatemala’s literacy rate, however, does not share the same distinction between other...