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For our most current Sector Expert Q&A, Douwe Westerveld experienced the pleasure to hook up with William Turton Furlan, business counselor at the Embassy of Guatemala in the Netherlands, who spoke about small business and expense chances in the Central American nation.

William Turton Furlan, commercial counselor at the Embassy of Guatemala in the Netherlands
William Turton Furlan

For everyone considering doing business enterprise in Guatemala, his insights could be of terrific fascination.

William researched Global Relations at the Rafael Landivar University in Guatemala Town and later concluded numerous education programmes centered on economic diplomacy and trade.

He started out his career at the KOTRA – Korea Trade Invesment Advertising Agency, based at the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Guatemala, exactly where he worked as a trade guide.

In 2019, he joined the Guatemalan diplomatic corps and was despatched to The Hague in the Netherlands, the place he has been serving as a trade counsellor in the Embassy of Guatemala to The Kingdom of The Netherlands.

SEE ALSO: Organization Development in Guatemala: How to Incorporate a Organization

What have been the outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic on the functionality of the overall economy of Guatemala and how is it carrying out at the moment?

Just like the rest of the regions and the environment, the effects of the pandemic have been tricky on the nation. We have also been in stages of confinement, but points are receiving better with the vaccination programmes. This is also the circumstance in phrases of economic recovery. Very last 12 months, 2021, our overall economy experienced a growth of 7.5% which is between the highest in the area as effectively as globally.

This is an aspect that we would like to sustain for the state, as sustainable growth is superior on the agenda of our governing administration and President Giammattei. This is exemplified by the actuality that sustainable financial progress has been just one of the essential pillars of the latest presidency, which was crucial to the establishment of an efficient countrywide COVID restoration prepare.

In a mark of the accomplishment of its pursuit of sustainable economic expansion, the Guatemalan government recognized a objective of reaching  USD 1.2 billion in international direct expense (FDI) throughout 2021, but finished up reporting a lot more than USD 3 billion, a figure triple that observed the former year. As a result, we can condition that the countrywide economic climate, as properly as investments and GDP, are executing really perfectly just after the pandemic.

A graph showing foreign investment in Guatemala
International investment decision in Guatemala spiked in 2021

Prior to the pandemic, how had the general performance of the nationwide economic system been?

The economic progress of Guatemala has been great above the past five many years, exemplified by sustained growth witnessed throughout this interval. For case in point, in 2020, all through the pandemic, our economic system seasoned a development of 3.5% in accordance to the Guatemalan Central Financial institution. Also, throughout the all over the world monetary disaster, the economic climate even now accomplished some advancement, whilst a lot of around the entire world suffered seriously.

The strength and resilience of the Guatemalan overall economy are are owing in part to the reality that Guatemala possesses potent macroeconomic tenets, this sort of as a steady trade fee, secure inflation costs, and a stage public credit card debt that is workable for the Central Financial institution.

What can make Guatemala this sort of a great prospect for small business and expense?

The to start with issue that I would like to emphasize is our macroeconomic balance, which is of fantastic significance for prospective investors. On top of that, speaking about Guatemala in the light of the relaxation of Central The usa, currently, four out of 10 products and solutions coming out of the location are created in Guatemala, and the country represents 38.9% of the sub-region’s believed financial participation.  This signifies that we have a nicely-recognized and productive industrial sector as opposed to the relaxation of the nations around the world. This also exemplifies the trust that our economy enjoys.

Also, Guatemala serves as a logistical system for the location, thanks to the geography of the country, which compares favourably to other nations around the world in the location in a number of means. We are incredibly shut to the US sector, which is the largest sector in the environment. In addition, we are upcoming to the Mexican market place, which, following the Brazilian market, is the 2nd-major financial state in Latin The united states. The European Union is also within just reach, by the European Union- Central American Association Settlement (EU-CAAA).

This direct entry to a various assortment of significant markets can make Guatemala a especially appealing prospect for investors. Nonetheless, it is also value mentioning that Guatemala is recognized for its simplicity of accomplishing business enterprise, with corporation formation in Guatemala normally concluded in in between 1 and 3 weeks, and the procedure commonly costing in between USD 500 and USD 700 — which is moderately priced by any normal.

The reality that beginning a enterprise in Guatemala is so uncomplicated and relatively low-cost is a key case in point of how our authorities is dedicated to making a local climate of accessibility and lodging for expense and firms.

What are the most important untapped investment decision prospects in Guatemala correct now?

We have a vast array of sectors that demonstrate excellent prospective. Initially, I can refer to the textile business,  with robust fiscal incentives techniques. On the other hand, the skilled labor pressure, optimum understanding curve and an built-in cluster of additional than 270 distinct suppliers make the attire and textile sector interesting for new investors. 

Stock image of a call center to accompany interview with William Turton
Guatemala’s contact center marketplace is rising

Beyond that, suitable now our place is getting to be ever more founded in much more innovative sectors. They consist of the pharmaceutical sector, with particular emphasis on the generation of professional medical gadgets. Other people include business procedure outsourcing and contact facilities (BPO) and details technologies outsourcing (ITO)  relevant to the software program sector. Guatemala is a feasible location for international businesses focused on these industries, thanks in element to fantastic infrastructure, large English proficiency ranges, and the availability of very-experienced staff.

SEE ALSO: Why So Lots of Investors Are Intrigued in PEO in Guatemala

But there are also numerous prospects to be seized in sectors that have been far more standard places for expense in Guatemala, such as the agricultural sector, in particular all those relevant to espresso, new fruits and vegetables. Furthermore, the production of plastics, rubber, and electronics are very well proven industries with area for significant expansion.

Remaining dependent in the Netherlands, I would insert that agriculture, bouquets, foliage and ornamentals, as properly as computer software creating and outsourcing things to do are also of individual desire to Dutch buyers, supplied that the Netherlands is the next-biggest agricultural exporter in the earth, a referent in the flowers and decorative field, and is a single of the most crucial tech hubs and builders around the globe.

What would you say to corporations considering nearshoring to Latin The usa to motivate them to glance at Guatemala?

I would say that Guatemala is a fantastic destination for nearshoring. Because of to our set up and very qualified workforce in, for instance, the computer software marketplace, Guatemala possesses the right individuals and services to satisfy the needs of almost any firm trying to get to relocate its functions to the location.

When you include to that our strategic spot, with the US and Mexico so close, and the infrastructure in area to very easily arrive to those people and other markets, Guatemala will become an even much more fascinating prospect to buyers.

Also, supplied that nearshoring generates overseas immediate investment decision (FDI), which is of sizeable significance to our financial state, the Guatemalan governing administration tries to create an ecosystem that accommodates this apply, and will proceed to offer as a lot assist to these forms of new traders as attainable for the foreseeable foreseeable future. Meaning that when you pick Guatemala, you choose a place that is open up for business enterprise and keen to do what it can to assist people who choose us.

International trade is typically an significant part of doing small business, so what does Guatemala offer you in this regard?

Guatemala has additional than 20 bilateral expense treaties all over the environment, and also has agreements with significant Latin American economies these kinds of as Mexico and Colombia. Through the time period 2008 to 2020, those people two international locations jointly accounted for far more than 10% of Guatemala’s GDP, demonstrating how important these treaties are for my country.

Because we have so quite a few FTAs in location, Guatemala is extremely very well linked and delivers a large variety of financial added benefits to buyers and enterprises based in our nation and doing company with any of these markets.

Moreover, thanks to the hard do the job we have been aspect of in acquiring the Central American Affiliation Arrangement, performing organization around this sub-area, which has witnessed considerable development this century, also presents a selection of positive aspects when it arrives to accomplishing business enterprise, including relieve of movement among and obtain to the other marketplaces in Central The usa.

Biz Latin Hub can guide you accomplishing organization in Guatemala

At Biz Latin Hub, we supply built-in current market entry and again place of work providers in the course of Latin The united states and the Caribbean, with places of work in 17 key towns all over the region, which includes Guatemala City. Our unequalled regional existence implies we are excellent companions to help multi-jurisdiction industry entries and cross-border operations.

Our detailed portfolio involves accounting & taxation, hiring & PEO, legal expert services, and company development, among the some others.

Call us these days to locate out much more about how we can support you.

Or read through about our crew and professional authors.

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