The US reaffirms economic, commercial and political relations with Guatemala

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By LatAm Reports Editorial Team

The new US ambassador to Guatemala, Tobin Bradley, and President Bernardo Arévalo, set their positions regarding the immediate future of bilateral relations.

The relationship between the United States and Guatemala is going through one of its best moments, after the political tensions derived from the results of the second round of elections in which the duo composed of Bernardo Arévalo and Karin Herrera were the winners.

This was one of the main coincidences highlighted in the forum organized by the Atlantic Council and the Foundation for the Development of Guatemala (Fundesa), in which the president, the US ambassador Tobin Bradley and several representatives of the Guatemalan business community and ministers of State.

During the activity, the High Level Economic Dialogue was also presented, in order to promote cooperation and alliances between both countries. “Together we are going to sow seeds of hope so that all Guatemalans reap fruits, and we are ready to work hand in hand with you,” said the diplomat.

Advance prosperity

Jason Marczak, vice president and senior director of the Adrienne Arsht Center for Latin America, Atlantic Council, and Juan Carlos Paiz, president of Fundesa, presented the need for the public and private sectors to work together to advance the country’s economic prosperity and position it in the trend of industrial relocation or nearshoring.

Marczak highlighted that the administration of President Arévalo marks a promising era of positive transformation for Guatemala, laying the foundations for local and foreign investment that must be encouraged in strategic sectors such as technology, while taking advantage of the current Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to create jobs and promote sustained economic growth.

In his opinion, the High Level Dialogue between Guatemala and the United States represents an opportunity to establish stronger economic ties, since there is the possibility of a very prosperous future.

For his part, Paiz commented that Guatemala can strengthen its relationship with the United States, because after the election of the new authorities and the economic approach that it outlines, there is the opportunity to be the reference in Central America, not only to face the great issues of attracting investment, opening new markets and institutional strengthening, but also to be an important partner in the fight against corruption, drug trafficking, human trafficking, money laundering and arms trafficking that plague the region.

He explained that migration can translate into an opportunity, “if we are aware and generate the necessary public policies to attract more investment and, with it, generate more and better jobs.”

“Guatemala has a unique opportunity and is willing to facilitate the investment processes that the relationship with the US can offer; accelerate the nearshoring process and generate the conditions to become the next jaguar of the Americas,” he stressed.

Trace a route

To the question, What are the opportunities to accelerate trade and investment? Ambassador Bradley responded that the economic development of Guatemala is not only important for the country, but for the United States, and for the entire region.

In this regard, he emphasized that his country recognizes the historic moment that Guatemala is experiencing and will continue to support projects that are working very well, but to invest with a high-level approach, with more technical assistance and in new projects that achieve progress in infrastructure, security and democratic governance.

“We have to establish the priorities of how we are going to achieve the vision of Guatemala and a safer and more prosperous region. We need to agree on the key steps in the short, medium and long term, and we are already taking concrete steps with the High Level Economic Dialogue led by the undersecretary of economic development, energy and environment, José Fernández,” he pointed out.

He stated that during this dialogue the team will discuss with President Arévalo’s team on how to address economic cooperation, strengthen strategic alliances between the United States and Guatemala and address issues such as competition, investment in infrastructure, energy security and good governance. .

On behalf of the High Level Dialogue, the diplomat confirmed the commitment to invest through other mechanisms, such as the initiative of the Vice President of the United States Kamala Harris, “Centroamérica Adelante”, in which there are more than 28 companies that represent an investment of US$500 million. “Our goal is to let the world know that Guatemala’s economy, the largest in CA, is ready for investment,” said Bradley.

Strengthen relationships

During his presentation, President Bernardo Arévalo assured that “the country we have today has been commercially and politically related to the largest economy in the world due to our geographical position, which is strategic.”

The president showed that there is a convergence of interests, which allows relations to be strengthened and multiplied for the benefit of both countries for workers, companies and the population.

“The government’s commitment is that, a fair economy, facilitated by clear and stable rules that can only come from a strong and transparent democratic State. For this we need each of the institutions to fulfill their mandate,” he stated.

Referring to the next four years of his mandate and the process of creating an investment model, he said the following will be prioritized:

* Generate a new investment framework through competition law proposals and general investment law.

* Invest in infrastructure, which includes roads and communications, but also irrigation systems, environmental recovery and social well-being.

* Allocation of more resources to health coverage and the quality of the available public educational offer, access to drinking water and electrification.

Continue with GNSD

Juan Carlos Paiz, president of Fundesa, stressed that from the business sector it is important to recognize the consent of the authorities to continue working hand in hand with the Guatemala No Se Detiene (GNSD) initiative.

This is because it is a clear strategy that brings together 33 cooperation organizations from the private sector and government in joint work to increase foreign direct investment, promote investment in infrastructure, increase legal certainty, strengthen human capital, take advantage of tourism and agribusiness.

This article has been translated from the original which first appeared in Presa Libre