For more than 35 years, exports of manufactured goods have faced important challenges in Guatemala, such as access to credit and funding opportunities to implement new technologies and productive processes, increasing contraband, lengthy bureaucratic processes (obtaining sanitary licenses, among others), inefficiency in ports, to name a few.
The poor conditions outside Guatemala City do not allow manufacturing companies to expand their operations nationwide. Lack of public investment on innovation, research and development, along with an inefficient logistics chain due to poor roads and port infrastructure also limit the possibilities of these industries and damage its competitiveness to participate in global markets. To solve this, AGEXPORT’s proposal for the upcoming government authorities, named “Returning to a Job Creation Pathway”, summarizes 13 cross-sector actions and 36 sector-specific policies to create more opportunities in Guatemala and open new formal employment opportunities for 981,000 Guatemalans during the next four year; said Mr. Amador Carballido, AGEXPORT’s CEO.
Specifically, for manufacturing companies, the document identified five key actions to boost its possibilities and provide higher technology to these companies. It seeks to transform the manufacturing sector into one that is sophisticated, highly productive, with high added-value and a strong technological component to produce export-quality products.
These five key actions are: research and innovation, actions to end contraband, improvement of the country’s infrastructure, better logistics processes and trade facilitation; said Mr. Carballido.
According to AGEXPORT’s CEO, integrating to the global economy requires strong investments on innovation to keep up to date with global trends and help other sectors such as agriculture and agribusiness.
One important company, part of AGEXPORT’s Manufacturing Sector, is Cooperativa Copavic, located in Quetzaltenango (Guatemalan Highlands) which thanks to its constant efforts on research and innovation, and AGEXPORT’s help with events like our yearly fair New World Crafts have been able to sell their products in key markets like the United States, England, Germany, Italy, among others. This is a clear example of how research and development become key to develop high added-value products and stay in global markets, said Mrs. Aida Fernandez, Director of AGEXPORT’s Manufacturing Sector.