Exporting guide to Guatemala
Guatemala offers a sturdy macroeconomic framework, with international agencies rating its economy as stable and resilient. Legal measures to procure low inflation levels, good fiscal management and a measured exchange rate allowed Guatemala to sustain a steady economic growth of 3.5% from 2014 to 2019 (World Bank, 2019).
Growing imports market
Guatemala’s main imports from the UK are finished goods such as vehicles, machinery, and spirits (ONS, 2020). UK exports of goods to Guatemala have steadily and consistently increased over the last 20 years and from 2016 to 2019 have more than doubled (ONS, 2020). In the year to June 2020 UK exports of goods increased by 58% when compared to the same period in 2019. (ONS, 2020).
Guatemala: at a glance
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Opportunities for exporters
Potential for UK industries can be found in a broad range of industries as British goods and services are highly regarded within the Guatemalan market.
Demand for UK goods
The demand for UK automotive goods has persisted over the years, with British automotive brands viewed as good quality, luxury brands that most Guatemalans aspire to buy (Secretary for Central American Economic Integration SIECA 2020).
Demand for new technologies
There is a demand for electric cars and electric-fuelled transportation. Ambitious public projects include a fleet of electric buses and government vehicles for Guatemala City. 4 electric vehicle charging stations have been set up around Guatemala City for public use and an association in support of electric mobility in Guatemala has been launched.
Reform of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) law
Guatemala is in the process of reforming its PPP law. This was created in 2010 but has not managed to deliver any PPPs because of lack of both financing and Congressional approval. The reforms introduced to Congress in 2020 aim to create a better environment for the development of infrastructure projects such as the light rail system and toll highway.
Demand for UK services
UK companies who can offer expertise in feasibility studies, planning, design, operations, and structuring in the mobility, energy and services sectors are wanted . Financial expertise to develop projects through Public-Private Partnerships is also welcomed.
Need for technology to increase exports capabilities
Guatemala is primarily an agricultural exporting country, and it requires a boost in exports to be able to promote economic growth. To achieve this, the country requires more efficient agricultural processes, aided by technology.
High purchasing power
In 2020, agriculture made up 9.4% of Guatemala’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the third highest productive sector in the country. This sector is highly organised and supported by chambers of commerce, government, and international institutions, as it is an important source of jobs for a large group of the population. The importance of agriculture in the country has given companies the necessary purchasing power to invest in production, technology, and insurance.