Guatemala has 12 current trade agreements, through which it generates 84.2% of the country’s exports.
The commercial assistance in the foreign trade processes has allowed for the conditions to improve; for example, we can mention some success stories like the Unique Window for Exports (VUPE, in Spanish) that improves the processes to obtain export permits and in coordination with the involved institutions, allows these transactions to be more efficient while reducing their costs.
It’s important to mention that from a few years back, efforts to improve merchandise inspections at the ports, airports and land borders with the institutions involved have been a challenge. That is why in July 2016, an Inter-Institutional Convention for Joint Inspections was achieved with signatures from the Tax Administration, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food, ports and airports, in order to prepare protocols specific to all. As of March 2017, they implemented intrusive inspections at the Quetzal Port as a pilot project, and at the International La Aurora Airport, which will improve inspection times and costs, improving the facilitation of trade and competitiveness in the country.
Guatemala continues improving in competitiveness, as shown by the indicators for Doing Business from the World Bank in 2017, when Guatemala occupied the position 88 out of 190 countries, improving on the indicators for electricity (19), credit (16), cross border trade (77), property registry (74) and construction permit management (89).
In the Global Competitiveness Index 2016-2017, the World Economic Forum, the country was placed in position 78 of 140, highlighting its strength in the financial market (18), the goods market (48), business sophistication level (49) and macroeconomic stability (57).
At a general level, the country’s evaluation is over the world average as to economic freedom, where it occupies the position 74 of 180 countries according The Heritage Foundation, which supports it as an attractive place for investment.