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The Ministry of Economy of Guatemala (Mineco) creates an agency to attract investments

by | May 21, 2024

The new agency created by the Ministry of Economy of Guatemala will have personnel and public funds to operate starting this fiscal year, according to what was recently published in the country’s official gazette.

Through ministerial agreement 295-2024, the Ministry of Economy of Guatemala (Mineco) created the National and Foreign Investment Attraction Agency, which will be attached to the Directorate of Trade and Investment Services of the Vice Ministry of Investment and Competition, which Antonio Romero leads.

The new unit has been created one hundred days after the new government assumed office and will have an assignment of the personnel and advisors required to fulfill the designated functions. The agreement does not specify the profile of the professional who will direct the agency above. This talent is required, how much their salary will be, or what the external capital goals to attract are.

What will the director of the new agency do?

The agreement mentions the powers the agency established by the Ministry of Economy of Guatemala will carry out. It highlights that its main objective is to coordinate institutional efforts to attract direct foreign investment to Guatemala to stimulate economic and social development and generate employment and opportunities for the population.

It is also highlighted that the new agency will have the power to encourage and promote investments, investment intelligence, and assistance to investors in coordination with the other directorates, bodies, and agencies of the Ministry of Economy of Guatemala.

The agency will also have a series of powers to develop, among which the following stand out:

  • Develop and approve the Multiannual Investment Promotion and Attraction Strategies.
  • Actively promote Guatemala internationally to attract investment, attending events related to prioritized sectors and products.
  • Promote the simplification of administrative procedures related to the foreign direct investment process in the country.
  • Advise potential investors regarding the development and search for investment opportunities and the procedures that must be completed to start or expand operations.
  • Provide support services to investors from when they show interest in visiting the country until the evaluation, filing, and investment process.
  • Provide technical assistance, professional advice, and support in attracting investment.
  • Establish registration and statistical control of national and foreign investments.

The agreement does not mention anything related to the functions carried out by the National Competitiveness Program (Pronacom ), which supports the improvement of the country’s competitiveness, providing valuable information so that companies can do more and better business in Guatemala, which also serves potential investors.

The Ministry of Economy of Guatemala seeks to diversify the nation’s economic base

“The diversification and strengthening of the Guatemalan economy require a solid strategy to attract foreign direct investment in key sectors such as agribusiness, food and beverages, light manufacturing, construction industry, tourism, medical devices, pharmaceutical industry, biotechnology, communication technology, electrical, electronic, clothing and textiles sector (nearshoring). These sectors represent not only investment opportunities but also the possibility of generating employment and promoting innovation, thus contributing to the sustainable progress of our nation,” Vice Minister Romero declared in a recent statement.

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Investment Opportunities in Guatemala Across the sectors targeted by the Ministry of Economy of Guatemala

Guatemala, the largest economy in Central America, presents diverse investment opportunities across several sectors. Its strategic location, favorable trade agreements, and growing economy make it an attractive destination for investors. Below, we explore investment opportunities in agribusiness, food and beverage, light manufacturing, construction, tourism, medical devices, pharmaceutical manufacturing, electrical and electronics manufacturing, and the clothing and textile sector.

Agribusiness

Guatemala’s agribusiness sector is a cornerstone of its economy, with opportunities from traditional crops to innovative agricultural technologies. Key investment areas include:

  • Coffee and Sugar Production: Guatemala is renowned for its high-quality coffee and sugar, with significant export potential.
  • High-Value Crops: Investing in cultivating non-traditional crops like avocados, berries, and macadamia nuts, gaining international market traction.
  • Agro-Processing: Opportunities exist to develop value-added products such as packaged fruits, juices, and other processed food items.
  • Sustainable Agriculture: With increasing global demand for organic and sustainably produced food, there’s potential for organic farming and eco-friendly agricultural practices.Food and Beverage

The food and beverage industry in Guatemala offers substantial growth prospects:

  • Local Brands Expansion: Investment in expanding local food brands to meet growing domestic demand.
  • Export-Oriented Production: Setting up production units focused on exporting Guatemalan specialty products like chocolate and rum.
  • Innovation in Food Technology: Investing in food tech startups focusing on healthier, more sustainable food options. Light Manufacturing

Light manufacturing is an emerging sector with growth opportunities:

  • Consumer Goods: Production of consumer electronics, household goods, and personal care products.
  • Automotive Parts: Manufacturing components for the automotive industry, leveraging Guatemala’s proximity to major markets like Mexico and the United States.
    Construction

The construction sector is poised for growth due to increasing urbanization and infrastructure development:

Residential and Commercial Projects: Investment in housing projects, shopping malls, and office spaces.

  • Infrastructure Development: Opportunities in public infrastructure projects, including roads, bridges, and public transportation systems.
  • Green Building Technologies: Promoting sustainable construction practices and materials.Tourism

Tourism is a vital sector with vast untapped potential:

  • Eco-Tourism and Adventure Tourism: Investing in eco-friendly resorts, adventure parks, and guided tours.
  • Cultural and Historical Tourism: Developing heritage sites, museums, and cultural festivals to attract international tourists.
  • Luxury and Wellness Tourism: Establishing luxury resorts and wellness retreats catering to high-end tourists

    Medical Devices

The medical device sector offers significant investment opportunities due to the growing healthcare needs:

  • Manufacturing and Assembly: Establishing facilities for the production and assembly of medical devices.
  • R&D Centers: Investing in research and development to innovate new medical technologies and devices.
  • Export Markets: Targeting export opportunities within the Central American region and beyond.
    Pharmaceutical Manufacturing

Pharmaceutical manufacturing is another promising sector:

  • Generic Medicines: Production of generic pharmaceuticals to cater to both domestic and international markets.
  • Biopharmaceuticals: Investing in the development and production of biologics and biosimilars.
  • Pharma Supply Chain: Enhancing supply chain logistics to improve the distribution of pharmaceutical products.Electrical and Electronics Manufacturing

Electrical and electronics manufacturing is a growing industry with potential for expansion:

  • Consumer Electronics: Manufacturing consumer electronics like smartphones, appliances, and other gadgets.
  • Component Manufacturing: Producing circuit boards, semiconductors, and other electronic parts.
  • Renewable Energy Technologies: Investing in producing solar panels, batteries, and other renewable energy equipment.
    Clothing and Textile Sector

The clothing and textile sector remains a strong pillar of Guatemala’s economy:

  • Apparel Manufacturing: Establishing garment manufacturing units to serve local and international markets.
  • Textile Production: Investment in textile mills and fabric production facilities.
  • Sustainable Fashion: Promoting sustainable and ethical fashion practices is increasingly in demand globally.

The Ministry of the Economy of Guatemala is pivotal in shaping the country’s investment landscape by establishing the National and Foreign Investment Attraction Agency. By targeting key sectors such as agribusiness, food and beverages, light manufacturing, construction, tourism, medical devices, pharmaceutical manufacturing, electrical and electronics manufacturing, and the clothing and textile sector, the Ministry aims to stimulate economic growth, create employment opportunities, and foster innovation. This strategic initiative underscores Guatemala’s commitment to enhancing its competitive edge and attracting national and international investors. As the agency begins its operations, it is poised to unlock the full potential of Guatemala’s diverse economic sectors, paving the way for sustainable development and prosperity.

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