AGEXPORT Celebrates 30 Years of Transforming the Economic Development of Guatemala

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The Guatemalan Exporters Association (AGEXPORT) is celebrating its Pearl Anniversary. Three decades in which, through the confidence and credibility of exporting companies, has been able to build the bases through which Guatemala has the opportunity to showcase its capabilities to the rest of the world.

From exporting US$1,061 Million in 1986 to exporting US$10,463 Million, in 2011; an increase in the number of markets surpassing from 88 in the 1980’s to 147 different markets in the year 2011; a generation of one million two hundred thousand jobs and incorporating over 10 thousand producers to the exporting productive chain, are some of the achievements which the exporters have had as a result of 30 years of work.
“From transforming the country’s productive structure, exporting 75% of traditional products and 25% of non-traditional products, to exporting 75% of non-traditional and 25% of traditional products; through the creation of the National Export Council CONAPEX, encouraging the creation of an integrated foreign trade policy and the implementation of six annual internationally accredited conventions in Guatemala, are some of the steps that AGEXPORT has taken throughout these years, and that have been fundamental in the development of one of the most dynamic economic sectors in the country that have facilitated the creation of one million formal jobs”.-As indicated by AGEXPORT’s president, Francisco Menendez
According to AGEXPORT’s president, up until 2010, exports of goods and services accounted for 25% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. This has been achieved with the momentum of 4,064 products made by 3,973 exporter companies, from which, 80% are SMEs. A considerable amount if we consider that at the beginning of the export sector, there were only 149 products and 237 exporters.

Non-Traditional Products and Services Exports have incorporated during three decades, thousands of producers were introduced to the international markets, for example, 35,000 Chinese pea producers, 300,000 cardamom families, 62,300 producers of furniture and forest products, 1 million handicraft producers, 90,286 jobs in the apparel and textile industry, 9,400 bilingual agents in the Call Center industry including jobs in Quetzaltenango and Quiché, amongst many other sectors, Menendez said.

Another achievement listed by exporters is, the implementation of initiatives that promote the growth of new business models capable of generating massive job positions. Some of the industries included within this model are: Call Centers, Digital Development, Software Exports, Sustainable and Medical Tourism, all of which are joined in the Service Export Sector which, according to AGEXPORT’s directors, was born only six years ago.

Globally, exporting services have been gaining strength, and Guatemala is already in the view of foreign investors who admire the creativity and friendliness of the national workforce. They have, also, proven that Guatemala’s geographic location and the advances in the acquisition of modern machinery are key elements that offer high quality services. All this, added to the natural, archeological, and cultural beauties that Guatemala worldwide. Indicated the Director.
Companies associated to AGEXPORT are optimistic for 2012, as well as celebrating their Pearl Anniversary, they expect to reach the export amount of U.S. $ 13 billion between goods and services, and to achieve this goal, they are committed to work in a Center for Internationalization of SMEs of AGEXPORT, opening a service office for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) interested in taking their products across borders, progress in exploring business opportunities with the Asian market and reinforce their language learning strategies in english.
AGEXPORT has become a movement committed to transform Guatemala, and we believe that 2012 is the year in which we start another 30 years of new transformations. The global opportunities are large and Guatemala has the talent and ability, we only need to match opportunities with Guatemalan talent, and for that we need to have more Guatemalans aware of the relationship between poverty elimination, job creation , production, competitiveness and exports, concluded Francisco Menendez.

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Mariangel Ruiz
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