Doing Business in
The gateway to Central America
Guatemala Success Stories
Doing Business in Guatemala
One of the most important benefits of doing business in Guatemala is its advantageous geographical location. Guatemala’s proximity to Mexico and the rest of Central America makes the country a bridge to a market with over 68 million inhabitants and a GDP of US $319 billion. Additionally, doing business in Guatemala enables companies to establish themselves in what is a major regional logistics hub.
A Skilled Labor Force
Guatemala’s economically active population is composed of 6.7 million individuals. Seventy percent of the population is under 30 years of age.
Those doing business in Guatemala can access graduates from its 14 distinguished universities. These institutions of higher learning have approximately 50 locations throughout the country, with a total student enrollment of almost 313,000 individuals. These students are educated in the humanities, as well as in technical areas that meet international standards.
An Excellent Economy
Doing business in Guatemala is to have operations in Central America’s largest economy. The country represents a full 35% of the region’s GDP and has had its rate of foreign direct investment grow by a very healthy 376% since 2013. This demonstrates the international business community has confidence in the stability of the Guatemalan economy. Guatemala expanded at a rate of 2.9% in 2016 and at a rate of 3.4% in 2017.
The principal sectors of the Guatemalan economy are manufacturing services and retail commerce. They represent a full 45% of the nation’s GDP. The Guatemalan Quetzal currency has also been stable against the US dollar for the last decade.
An Advanced Telecommunications Infrastructure
Companies that are doing business in Guatemala have access to a robust telecommunications infrastructure. The country privatized the sector in 1996. This includes the provision of T-1 services. The country assures 99% redundancy of its fiber optic connections from both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Guatemalans are well-connected. There are 1.2 – 1.5 cell phones per person in Guatemala City.
The Legal Framework for Doing Business in Guatemala
Guatemala is an open, free-market economy. All of its sectors are open to foreign investment. Beyond applicable taxes, Guatemala places no restrictions on remittances and repatriated capital.
Free Trade Agreements
Those doing business in Guatemala will have been able to take advantage of the free trade agreements that the government has negotiated. Among the countries with which Guatemala has free trade agreements are the entirety of Central America, the United States, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Panama, Chile, and the European Union. Guatemala, the United States, Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic make up the CAFTA-DR free trade zone. As a result of having signed this accord, 92% of US industrial and consumer goods can be imported into Guatemala with no tariffs applied. Additionally, 82% of US agricultural exports can enter the country free of charge.
The Central American Group in Guatemala
The CAG acts as a shipping agent and third-party logistics company in Guatemala through Grupo Maritimo.
Interested in Guatemala?
Download the whitepaper to learn about:
- starting a business;
- dealing with construction permits;
- getting electricity;
- registering property.
Fill in the accompanying form to download the information.