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Basic Information

Area 108,889 km2
Capital Guatemala City
Official Language Spanish
GDP per capita US$4,455
GDP US$ 76,300 billion
Imports US$ 19,734 billion
Exports US$ 11,018 billion
Currency Quetzal

Business Environment

Guatemala neighbors with Mexico on the north, is bounded on the west by the Pacific Ocean, east by the Caribbean and Atlantic and is bordered by El Salvador and Honduras on the south. The industrial structure of Guatemala has transformed from agriculture to industry and then towards service. The Agricultural output accounts for 13.5% of GDP which are dominated by coffee, sugar, cardamom and bananas. In recent years, the export of vegetables and tropical fruits has increased. The industrial output accounts for 24.2% 18,798,985of GDP. Among them, manufacturing sector accounts for 17.9%. The industry is mainly composed of textile garment processing, food and beverage, chemical, medical and pharmaceutical products. The output of service sector accounts for 62.3% of GDP, of which, 11.7% is commerce (wholesale and retail). Transportation and warehousing are 10.8%, and finance and insurance and other service sectors are 4.9% and 16% respectively. The strategy for the future will focus on export expansion, product diversification and decentralized market. (1) Decentralized market: Seeking and expanding markets is the key for export growth. The industry urges the Congress to pass the free trade agreements in various negotiations in order to enhance the expansion. Based on convenient transportation and logistics, the priority of market expansion and development is given to Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago. (2) Product diversification: The traditional industries of Guatemala are coffee, sugar, cardamom and bananas. The performance of export of non-traditional products is excellent with annual growth rate of about 17%, including mini vegetables and tropical fruits, ornamental plants and manufacturing (processed food, footwear, chemicals, cosmetics, sanitary products, pharmaceuticals, wood furniture products, leather, handicrafts, building materials, floor tiles, packaging materials, etc.). (3) Assisting the industry in participating in domestic and international exhibitions in order to strengthen export. (4) Enhancing enterprises recruitment and attracting foreign investment: organizing international forums in order to attract foreign investment and create jobs.

Top 10 import from Guatemala

Year: 2018
Code USD
(17011400004) Other cane sugar, not containing added flavouring or colouring matter 18,798,985  
(9011100007) Coffee, not roasted, not decaffeinated 12,583,829  
(17019990904) Other sugar, refined 8,905,384  
(72044990905) Other waste and scrap, of iron or steel 6,561,256  
(24012090008) Other tobacco, partly or wholly stemmed/stripped 2,209,025  
(47071000006) Recovered (waste and scrap) unbleached kraft paper or paperboard or corrugated paper or paperboard 1,189,759  
(72042100005) Waste and scrap of stainless steel 954,302  
(74040010104) Waste and scrap, of copper and brass, free of any coated wire and cable 844,984  
(42033010009) Waistbands, of leather or of composition leather 708,717  
(61099020005) T-shirts, singlets and other vests, knitted or crocheted, of man-made fibres 410,014  

Top 10 export to El Guatemala

Year: 2018
Code USD
(38170000007) Mixed alkylbenzenes and mixed alkylnaphthalenes, other than those of heading No.27.07 or 29.02 24,024,753  
(39076100102) Poly (ethylene terephthalate), bottle grade-intrinsic viscosity 0.7 (having a viscosity number of 78 ml/g) - 0.92, in primary forms 7,008,665  
(39021000902) Other polypropylene 6,923,454  
(83089010002) Clasps, frames with clasps, buckles, buckle-clasps, of base metal 3,503,396  
(54075200006) Other dyed woven fabrics, containing 85% or more by weight of textured polyester filaments 3,492,542  
(39031100009) Expansible polystyrene 2,784,202  
(87081000007) Bumpers and parts thereof 2,415,747  
(85122019108) Other electrical lighting equipment for motor vehicles 2,403,384  
(87082990007) Other parts and accessories of bodies (including cabs), of the motor vehicles of headings Nos. 87.01 to 87.05 2,306,999  
(87089990002) Parts and accessories for other motor vehicles 2,110,458  


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