AGEXPORT Has a New President 2011

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In the election of the new Board of Directors of the Guatemalan Exporters Association, AGEXPORT, the members agreed elect to Francisco Menendez, exporter of packaged food products; and Guillermo Montano, exporter of telecommunications services, President and Vice President, respectively at the Annual Assembly of Guatemalan Exporters´ Association, AGEXPORT-.

The new direction was promoted by the outgoing President, Carlos Amador, who reported to the exporters the results of the actions of 2010. One of president Amador’s greatest credits was having closed the year with a 17.4% increase in exports compared with 2009, which had closed a net decrease of 6.5%.

Exporters begin this year with a new drive to increase exports in the year 2011. The organization has defined 3 strategic areas of focus; which are: export of services, increased focus on international competitiveness and improving efficiencies of internal public/private sector cooperation.

The exportation of services is one of the new areas that will drive the creation of the Center for Small and medium size businesses; the center is expected to be in operation beginning the second half of 2011. In order to expand the training capabilities of AGEXPORT, the educational center of advanced studies will include productivity promotion and support to employers to define innovative strategies.

The association has defined a specific plan for each sector; it anticipates the strengthening of national programs, exploration of new markets and promoting the admission of new products to external markets.

"Guatemala has a unique strategic location; and I think that 2011 will be a banner year for exporters; in fact there are already sectors that are showing very good results. To expand international trade requires an export awareness campaign throughout the country; we need to train our producers, as well as to ensure the cooperation and active participation of the Ministries of Agriculture and Health, as well as the continued support of the Congress and the Presidency in creation and management of trade agreements and monitoring of contracts”, were the words of the incoming president of AGEXPORT, Francisco Menéndez.

Menéndez said it is necessary to prioritize the competitiveness agenda; for that reason he assured that AGEXPORT is promoting a policy of export growth to be submitted to political parties and their respective technical teams in this most important Presidential election year. A priority of 2011 is the creation of a work plan for promoting development of public and private policies that strengthen and support the competitiveness of Guatemala's exports and explores commercial opportunities and Free Trade Agreements with countries like Singapore and China.

AGEXPORT plans to participate in fairs and expositions in all continents, as Guatemalan products have a presence in all those markets; CONAPEX (put here what is Conapex) is expected to be the body responsible for promoting exports of Guatemala internationally.

"We have a solid plan; we will consolidate our exports to the United States, will work with a team of businessmen to enter the Mexican market, and we expect to regain the lead in Central America. For all this and more, it is necessary that Guatemala has the tools to support our work and initiative; such as a Legal Instrument for Institutional Strengthening of Foreign Trade, the creation of laws on Investment Promotion and Employment / Free Trade Zone, ratification of ILO agreements, creation of the Institute of Food Safety and Plant Protection’ and Strengthening of the National Port Authority”, concluded Menendez.

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Mariangel Ruiz

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