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Doing business in Guatemala.

The U.S. Dept. of Commerce has produced a 92-page Country Commercial Guide which offers helpful information on doing business in or with Guatemala. Excerpts follow: If you wish to read the complete report, Email me (kalwagenheim@cs.com). I'll Email it to you as a file attachment.

Guatemala, the northernmost country in Central America, is at the center of a large regional market for US goods and services. Guatemalan GDP reached US$26.9 billion in 2004 and exports from the US to Guatemala exceeded US$2.5 billion. Almost half of all Guatemalan imports come from the US;

Guatemala can also be an attractive place for foreign investment, despite some persisting challenges. With a population of 14 million, it accounts for one-third of the region's GDP. The capital, Guatemala City (population more than 3 million) features first-class hotels and restaurants. La Aurora International Airport is located just minutes from the major business and financial areas.

Market Challenges

Guatemala is experiencing rapid political and social change. Free and fair national elections were held in November and Dec. 2003, when Oscar Berger of the Grand National Alliance (GANA) coalition won a four-year presidential term. Since taking office in Jan. 2004, President Berger has maintained a capable and experienced team of ministers and advisers who aim to deliver on the promise that his government will address social needs--improving education, generating employment, enhancing public security, and bringing transparency to public procurement. Thus far, the Berger government has made significant progress with to reduce and modernize the military and open the borders to increased trade with El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

President Berger has also sought to improve relations with the US, emphasizing a shared agenda on trade and investment, fighting domestic corruption and transnational crime. Implementing the 1996 Peace Accords, ending Guatemala's 36-year civil war, has been a major challenge. The Accords call for, among other things, an increase in taxes in order to meet infrastructure and development needs. Security, corruption, worker rights, protection of intellectual property, and education are other key challenges for the government.

Most hurdles to exporting and investing are bureaucratic in nature. The government is working to overcome them. There are no exchange controls and the currency, the quetzal, currently trades in a fairly stable range of 7.5-7.8 quetzals to one US dollar. Currency is bought and sold freely in national markets. There are no restrictions on repatriation of profits.

Market Opportunities

The signing of the U.S.-Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) by former U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick and ministers from Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, on Aug. 5, 2004, represents a giant step toward greater economic integration between the U.S. and these Latin American nations. The Agreement, thus far ratified by the U.S. and all other participating countries except Costa Rica, provides for the immediate elimination of tariffs and quotas on more than 80% of U.S. exports, while tariffs on the remaining 20% will be phased out over the next 10 years. President Bush signed the implementing legislation on Aug. 2, 2005. The formal implementation date is still pending.

With the inclusion of the Dominican Republic, CAFTA-DR will be the second largest Latin American market for U.S. goods, surpassed by only Mexico. Along with reduced trade barriers, CAFTA-DR calls for a lessening of restrictions that have locked US firms into exclusive, often inefficient, distribution arrangements. CAFTA-DR member countries have promised increased transparency in customs dealings, anti-corruption measures in government contracting and procurement, and strong legal protections for US investors.

Regionalization has become a fact of life in Central America. Factories and distribution facilities continue to be located in order to serve a regional market. Rarely does a foreign businessperson visit just one Central American country. New investors weigh the advantages that each country offers as they look to locate new plants. Regional managers are becoming the norm. Trade amongst the countries of Central America has also increased dramatically over recent years. In Oct. 2005, US Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez led a trade mission of 19 US companies and a 12 US trade finance officials to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, giving momentum to the implementation of CAFTA-DR. Recent major investments in Guatemala by US firms (Wal-Mart and GE Finance) also highlight the opportunities presented by CAFTA-DR.

The market is competitive. Businesspeople are price-sensitive and expect good after-sales service and support. They are accustomed to doing business with US firms and many travel regularly to the US and speak English.

Real GDP grew by about 2.7% in 2004, although this was less than the rate of population growth. Inflation has been moderate, dropping to 5.8% in 2003, although higher oil prices caused inflation to increase sharply in 2004, approaching 10%. Remittances, almost entirely from the US, in 2005 totaled US$3 billion, equivalent to 10% of GDP.

Commodity prices for traditional exports, such as coffee and sugar, have been low in recent years. Most growth has come from non-traditional exports (assembled clothing, winter fruits and vegetables, furniture and cut flowers). The non-traditional sector has provided jobs and increased income for tens of thousands of people over the past ten years. Tourism has also developed and should continue to grow, if the country can get a better handle on the security situation. Remittances from Guatemalans living abroad, mainly in the US, have become the largest single source of foreign exchange earnings, and these currently outpace foreign direct investment.

The government welcomes foreign investment and generally accords foreign investors national treatment. There are few legal or regulatory restrictions placed on foreign investors. But the country has a long way to go to make Guatemala truly business and investment friendly.

Market Entry Strategy

The reality in Central America and in Guatemala today is that there are problems: corruption, security issues, poverty, and low education levels top the list. But there is also relative stability, with real market opportunities and substantial US exports, in a dynamic market that is close to the US and growing. Regional integration and CAFTA-DR will spur investment, growth, trade, and increased opportunities.

Political and Economic Environment: For background information click on the link below to the U.S. Department of State Background Notes. http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/

Establishing an Office

A foreign entity legally registered in its country of origin and intending to do business in Guatemala must: Register with the Mercantile Registry (Registro Mercantil) Registro Mercantil de Guatemala, Address: 7a. Ave. 7-61, Zona 4 01004. Guatemala. Ph.: (502) 2332-7678; 2331-0119, Fax: (502) 2331-0119 Ext.: 225, Contact: Lic. Arturo Saravia Altolaguirre, Registrador. E-mail: info@registromercantil.gob.gt Website: www.registromercantil.gob.gt

Franchising

There are some 190 franchising companies in Guatemala with 900 outlets. Franchise companies operate mainly in the fields of fast food restaurants, physical fitness centers, car rentals, hotel operations, dry cleaners, lawn and garden services, professional painters, learning centers, shoe repair, pest control, discount stores/pharmacies and auto repair. Opportunities for the establishment of additional U.S. franchises in all areas of economic activity are very good.

Selling to the Government

It is not very practical to target government sales if a firm does not have contacts in Guatemala to be on the lookout for opportunities and then assist with obtaining the specifications and meeting deadlines for submission. The complete public bidding process can be accessed at www.guatecompras.gob.gt--Concursos Publicados.

Trade Promotion

The Commercial Service of the US Embassy in Guatemala City can provide assistance to US firms seeking to enter or expand their presence in the market. The following trade associations, at times, can also be helpful:

American Chamber of Commerce of Guatemala. 5a. Ave. 5-55, Zona 14, EuroPlaza, Torre I, Nivel 5. 01014 Guatemala. Ph.: [502] 2333-3899. Fax: [502] 2368-3536. Carolina Castellanos, Director. Jose Orive, Pres. E-mail: director@amchamguate.com. Web:www.amchamguate.com

Camara de Comercio de Guatemala. (Guatemalan Chamber of Commerce). 10a. Calle 3-80, Zona 1 01001 Guatemala. Ph.: [502] 2232-4545 / 2253-5353. Fax: [502] 2220-9393. Ricardo Rodriguez, Mgr, Edgardo Wagner, Pres. Jimmy Matus, VP. E-mail: info@camaradecomercio.org.gt. Web page: www.camaradecomercio.org.gt

Camara de Industria de Guatemala (Chamber of Industry). Ruta 6 9-21, Zona 4, Edif. Camara de Industria, Nivel 12. 01004 Guatemala. Ph.:[502] 2331-9191 / 2334-4848. Fax: [502] 2334-1090. Lic. Ricardo Sagastume, Exec. Dir., Sergio de la Torre, Pres. E-mail:cig@industriaguate.com. Web: www.industriaguate.com

Trade Promotion Opportunities:

Firms interested in local trade events Guatemala may wish to receive more information from different organizers: INTERFER 2007--October (biennial). FERIA NACIONAL (National Fair)--December (annual). COMFERIA--July (annual). Organizers of these and other fairs:

COPEREX. 8a. Calle 2-33, Zona 9. Parque de la Industria. 01009 Guatemala. Ph.: [502] 2331-3737 / 2334-1269. Fax: [502] 2331-7845. Lic. Ricardo Sagastume, Exec. Dir. Sergio de la Torre, Pres. E-mail: info@coperex.com. Web: www.coperex.com.gt

Other fairs: INTERNATIONAL CONSTRUCTION SHOW, August (biennial); AGRITRADE, March (biennial); ALIMENTARIOS (Food Fair), August (annual); EXPOMOBILE (Automotive Show), August (annual); APPAREL SOURCING SHOW, May (annual); INDUEXPO (Trade and Investment/Industrial Convention), June (biennial); EXPOMUEBLE (Furniture)--March (annual). Information on these shows can be obtained from: U.S. Embassy. Commercial Service. Ph.: [502] 2326-4259. Fax: [502] 2331-7373. E-mail: Guatemala.Office.Box@mail.doc.gov. Web page: www.buyusa.gov/guatemala/en

Advertising

Advertising in Guatemala is usually done through the local media, such as newspapers, magazines, radio and television. Also, the use of billboards displayed along highways has proliferated in recent years. Firms interested in advertising may wish to contact: Union Guatemalteca de Agencias de Publicidad--UGAP (Guatemalan Association of Advertising Agencies). 13 Calle 3-40, Zona 10. Edif Atlantis, Nivel 3, Local 45 01010 Guatemala. Ph.:[502] 2367-2301 to 2303. Fax: (502] 2367-2304. Contact: Ana Isabel Arguedas, Exec Dir E-mail: director@ugap.com Web page: www.ugap.com

Due Diligence

There are few sources of independently verifiable information about companies and individuals. There are no publicly-listed companies and rarely do they publish information about their officers, sales or financial information. Most companies are sole proprietorships and partnerships, and business generally is conducted based upon personal reputation and contacts.

One source of information is the International Company Profile (ICP), which can be ordered through any U.S. office of the U.S and Foreign Commercial Service (U.S. Export Assistance Centers). These reports, compiled by the Commercial Service, contain information that might be difficult for a U.S. firm to obtain on its own. See www.buyusa.gov/guatemala/en/6.html

Leading Sectors for Export and Investment

Automotive: Accessories and Service Equipment

95% of used vehicles are purchased from US salvaged car auctions and are repaired locally. Guatemalans keep their autos for 5-7 years before purchasing a newer model. Import taxes for new cars are high (between 15-20%), hence purchasing new models is not common. Used vehicles require continuous maintenance and replacement services.

Almost 50% of these products are imported from the US, although not all are made in the U.S. (US auto parts exports to Central Americ surpassed US$213 million in 2005). Asian manufacturers are entering aggressively into the market with low-priced products. Almost 80% of the cars circulating here represent Asian brands. The other 50% of imports come from Asia, as well as Brazil and Europe.

Once CAFTA is implemented, there will be elimination of automotive parts tariffs, which had ranged from 1% to 20%, which provides cost savings. Origin rules under CAFTA will allow remanufactured parts to qualify for duty free treatment, expanding the market for these products in the CAFTA region.

The most promising sub-sectors include aftermarket products (bumpers, spoilers, tail lights, wheels, sound systems, alarms, tires, batteries, suspension kits, mufflers, filters, chips, exhaust systems, brakes, windshield wipers, spark plugs, wheel covers, steering wheels, etc. Other promising products are: lifts, tire repair, electronic diagnosis, tire balancing, compressors, and all equipment and tools for service stations.

Opportunities: There are more than 100 spare parts and service agents. This market is completely price-driven and Asian brands are well-positioned, so innovative, high-tech, unusual products are a good opportunity for as long as prices remain competitive. Market Size: 1,258,500 vehicles (2003)

Food Processing

Guatemala is preparing to increase its production of non-traditional products (vegetables, fruits, flowers). Machinery for industrialization and packaging will be required. The Food Processing & Packaging sector grew by 10% in 2004 and was expected to grew by 15% in 2005. Local production of machines and implements accounts for 36% of market share. US imports of machinery in 2004 reached 31% of the total import market.

The most promising sub-sectors include: Packaging machinery, including cleaning, bottling, filling and sealing machines for bottles and cans; Parts for machinery to cleanse, dry and seal containers; Parts for food and beverage processing machinery; Cooking stoves, ranges, ovens; Machinery for the extraction and preparation of animal or vegetable oils; Machinery for sugar preparation; Machinery for the preparation and manufacture of foods and beverages.

Opportunities: With CAFTA-DR, more than 80% of US exports of consumer and industrial goods will become duty free in Central America, with remaining tariffs phased out over 10 years. The production plants of local exporting companies are plan to increase the quality and standards of their products, in order to be competitive in the region.

Electric Power Systems

Infrastructure (including road construction and energy power systems) is expected to show significant growth in Central America over the next few years. The countries are working on initiatives to enhance an integrated regional infrastructure. The centerpiece of this effort is the Plan Puebla-Panama, an initiative to bring sustainable development to the southern Mexico and Central America. Implementation is expected to result in over US$20 billion in investment.

The Central American Electrical Interconnection System Project (Proyecto del Sistema de Interconexion Electrica de los Paises de America Central, or CIEPAC) will establish a wholesale electricity market and develop the first regional system. The power transmission line would have a length of 1,830 kms and a capacity to transport 230 mw of power. The project will cost about US$320 million (the Interamerican Development Bank has already approved a US$170 million loan). The project will also require construction of substations and transmission towers. When completed, intra-regional electricity annual sales will be around US$200 million.

Although the main issue throughout the year was energy prices, two events were important for the sector. First, legislation was passed for the Renewable Incentives Law. Second, the Guatemalan-Mexican interconnection project was announced, with an investment loan from the IDB for US$37.5 million and an investment of US$5.8 and US$12.5 million by Guatemala and Mexico, respectively.

Best Prospects/Services: The most promising sub-sector categories: Electrical power generators; Transformers; Hydraulic turbines; Circuit breakers; Switchgears; Conducting cable; Parts of steam and other turbines.

Opportunities: With the implementing legislation for the Renewable Energy Incentive Law, there should be good opportunities for renewable energy products and services, especially in the hydro sector.

Franchising

There are 215 franchises with 1,220 outlets. The market is expected to grow 10% per year during the next few years. Great interest exists to open new franchises in Guatemala, as can be observed from participation in the international franchise exposition held in the US.

Foreign franchises make up 90% of the total market, with domestic franchises accounting for 10%. Among the foreign franchises the U.S. holds an 85% market share. Guatemala, Mexico and Europe are increasing their shares of this dynamic sector. Food is the main sector of interest, although there is strong demand for convenience services (dry cleaning, lawn and garden, professional painters, shoe repair, pest control, day-care/learning centers, computer centers, security, advertising, real estate, auto repair, discount stores, fitness centers, convenience store/pharmacies and fast food drive-in's). Among the newer franchises are Clean Master, Bagel Shop, Sushi-itto, World Gym, Office Depot, Payless Shoes, Heel Quick, Cinnabon, Hooters, Telepizza, Retoucherie Manuela, Quiznos Subs, Cuts, Curves, Mexico Lindo y Que Rico and soon to open Applebee's and Tony Roma's.

Opportunities: Guatemalan investors look for a franchisor with a worldwide presence, which is new to Guatemala but enjoys solid acceptance in other markets, and provides extensive training and backup. People who own a franchise tend to be more open toward investing in a new one.

Hotel and Restaurant Equipment

The US leads in exports to the region, with 40% of the market. Distributors want quality equipment, with availability of spare parts and technical assistance. Many of the hotels and restaurants are US franchises.

Tourism and conventions drive hotel and restaurant industry growth. Guatemala offers all types of tourist attractions (archaeologic sites, colonial cities, convention centers, beaches, shopping malls, amusement parks, fishing, golfing and ecological resorts, rainforests, bird watching, rafting and adventure tourism) which are surrounded by hotels, restaurants, cafes, etc.

The hotel industry is expanding in urban and rural tourism areas. New projects include bungalow-type resorts, apart-hotels, cabins, hostels, inns and convention centers. The restaurant industry is growing at an even faster rate. Many restaurants, fast-food chains and franchises are opening ice cream parlors, Internet cafes, and doughnut outlets in new shopping malls and centers.

Competitors are primarily Mexico, Brazil and China. Local producers are becoming more competitive, mainly in production of stainless steel kitchen tables, grills, roasters, stoves, mobile fast-food carts, display cabinets and utensils. Some small stoves, ranges and ovens are locally produced. Locally manufactured goods are of lower quality but are competitively priced.

Best Prospects/Services: Hotel and Institutional Catering Equipment; Commercial Kitchen Equipment; Fast Food Equipment; Food Preparation Equipment; Restaurant Equipment; Vending Machines; Commercial Laundry Equipment; Resort Furnishing/Equipment; Refrigeration/ Freezing Equipment.

The most promising commercial opportunities: Ovens, ranges, broilers, grills, fryers, baking & pasta machines; Refrigeration compressors and air conditioning; Dishwashers and laundry machines; TV apparatus and monitors; Catering equipment & vending machines; Kitchen sundries, glassware, china, tableware and flatware; Franchise opportunities for restaurants and hotels

Apparel: Textile and Machinery Supplies

More than 950 companies have textile-related operations in Central America. Two-thirds consist of maquila assembly plants; 61 produce textiles. Manufacturers of textile accessories (including threads, needles, buttons, zippers, embroideries) number about 250. About 43% are located in Guatemala; 27% in El Salvador; 20% in Honduras; and 10% in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. In Guatemala, the sector is comprised of 50 textile companies, 222 apparel factories or "maquilas" and 276 accessories factories, with an installed capacity of 73,746 sewing machines and 113,272 workers; one of the leading job generators in the country.

In the last two years the industry has been transitioning from selling productivity to selling "the complete package", which includes supplying services and designs. Many businesses operate under this format, which represents an important change for the industry, since it has just started to compete as an integrated industry.

The US is the main export market for the apparel and textile industry, to which it sends 95% of its exports. Guatemala has a well-established local supply chain. But it does not produce cotton; all of it is imported from the US. Also imported are synthetic fibers, mainly from Asia and the US, and textile machinery.

Best Products/Services: The US has a 70% market share for machines for extruding, drawing, texturing or cutting man-made textile materials, followed by Taiwan (20%); US imports account for a 36% share of imports of knitting machines, with Italy in second place at 19%. Germany leads in the import of machines used to prepare textile fibers, controlling a 45% market share, followed by the US (18%).

Textile Yarn and Fabric: Central American import data for 2003 confirm the US as the leading exporter in: Knitted or crocheted fabrics: The US controlled 48% of imports to the region; Special woven fabrics, tufted textile fabrics, lace, tapestries, trimmings; and embroidery: The US controlled this market with a 77% market share.

Most promising sub-sector categories for 2006: Spinning machines; Sewing machines; Trims; Drying machines; -Bleaching or dyeing machines; Zippers; Buttons; Trims; Yarn; Boxes; Accessories.

Opportunities: Fabric produced in Central America does not meet demand and often lacks diversity and quantity. Under CAFTA-DR, fabric imported from the US and incorporated in apparel production will continue to receive duty-free treatment for exports to the US; material imported for retail sale in Central America will also be treated as duty free, which will give it a clear advantage over European competitors. When CAFTA kicks in, the US will be able to export, at a zero tariff rate, many of the cotton requirements and other fibers required by Guatemalan industry. Also at low or zero tariffs, US firms will be able to export machinery, accessories and other components.

Construction Equipment & Building Products

The construction sector experienced a slowdown from 2000 to 2003, after steady growth in previous years. In 1999, the sector grew 9% and accounted for 2.6% of GDP, while in 2003 the sector ended with negative growth of 15% representing only 1.9% of GDP.

A big reason for the decrease was the cutback in public investment in infrastructure and civil engineering projects. But the Monetary Committee of the Central Bank, one of the major "think tanks" here, and the Guatemalan Chamber of Construction estimated the 2004 growth rate at 12.6%, and forecast that the trend will carry into 2005.

There was a mild decrease in housing construction for 2000-2003. But companies expect excellent future business, especially in the residential sector. With an estimated 1 million unit deficit, experts believe growth is inevitable. The Central Bank says that about 25% of all remittances from abroad are invested in home renovations and home building.

The construction business here differs from the US model, where companies specialize in one aspect of the business, such as realtors, developers and architectural and engineering firms. Here, the same company is often involved in all aspects. For the larger and higher-end projects, one might find the degree of specialization found in the US, but for the most part, the same company will see the project from start to finish.

Most homebuilding is done using concrete and concrete blocks. For apartment and commercial buildings, metal structures, steel beams and concrete structures are used. Labor is fairly inexpensive. A building worker earns on average US$8.75 per day (exchange rate calculated at Q7.50 per US$1) and a foreman earns around US$16.60. Much construction is done manually.

US exports of building products were US $16.8 million in 2003. Main products: steel pipe, structural steel and plastic tubes and pipes.

The most promising product categories for 2006: tractors; road construction/paving equipment; supplies for heavy infrastructure and residential housing; structural metals; bathroom wares & accessories; ceramic floors & tiles; shingle & roof products; doors & window frames; kitchen cabinets & countertops; kitchen & laundry appliances; plastic pipes & fixtures; electrical wiring; accessories & fixtures; drywall.

Opportunities: There is substantial local production of cement, cement products, ceramic floors and tiles, plastic pipes and plumbing products, wood and wood products. The most potential (where there is no local production) is within the subsectors of metal structures and higher-end finishing products.

Guatemala is a very price-sensitive country. On the other hand, it is also ranked by the United Nations as one of the countries with the largest income distribution gaps, meaning there is a good market for the higher-end products.

Most basic materials are supplied locally, but many finishing, higher technology, and specialized products are imported, mostly from Italy, Brazil, China, Korea, Costa Rica, Spain, Mexico, Colombia and the US.

Computers and Peripherals

The market is expected to continue growing at an 8% rate in the following year. Five authorized wholesalers distribute major brands and maintain advantage over small distributors when bidding on national contests and offering products to major corporations. Some 400-500 active small distributors operate in the country. Most have an open account with the five major wholesalers, but are free to purchase directly from other countries, if necessary.

Low-cost clone computers (one-third the price of a brand names account for 60% of market share. "Clones" are produced locally and sold to individuals who demand a low-cost computer with some post-sale maintenance service. The remaining 40% share belongs to large importers (IBM, Compaq, Dell and Hewlett-Packard) which sell to the industrial sector and Government, which tends to purchase brand name equipment. The industry is pressing Government to reconsider the 15% import tax for inks, which make cartridges very expensive for the end user, and digital cameras and videos, which require 10% import taxes.

Guatemala is the second largest US IT market of all the CAFTA countries, valued at US$178 million in 2004, and is expected to grow to $200 million in 2005. Expenditures on hardware far outpaced those for packaged software or services in 2004, and that trend is expected to continue in 2005.

The most promising sub-sectors include: Motherboards, micro-processors, hard drives, CD-R/RW units, DVD units, RAM, and notebooks. Also: keyboards, mouses, cases, monitors, color printers, scanners, multimedia accessories, floppy disks, CD-Roms, and network cards. Asia is entering the market aggressively in these sub-sectors.

Opportunities: The Government, Financial Services Sector, Banking Systems, Hospitals, Universities, Schools, and International Companies purchase brand name equipment. It is important to be aware of National Contests, now available on-line at the "Guatecompras" website. Small distributors are a niche market to look at when offering high-tech equipment at competitive prices and also have a high demand for used equipment.

Medical Equipment

The public sector is the primary purchaser of medical equipment through the Ministries or Social Security Institutions. Ministries provide healthcare services through local hospital networks, health units, rural clinics, and other health providers, except in Costa Rica where services are provided by the National Social Security System (CCSS). The private sector includes private hospitals and clinics. Their purchases are smaller vs. those in the public sector.

About 80% of the Central American market is for new medical equipment; 20% for used or refurbished. Key factors are price, quality, and post-sale service. To successfully penetrate the market, it is important to have a continuous market presence, provide brochures in Spanish, and have good after-sales services. There are no import restrictions for the importation of new or used medical equipment to the Central American countries.

There are eight major medical product distributors and more than 50 small distributors. The Private Sector mostly purchases. The Government, on the other hand, is price driven and will purchase generally based on lower cost. Once a year, the Government publishes its needs for Medical Devices in the month of October. This is when interested parties must prepare their bids and, if selected, they will be suppliers for their one-year needs. In order to be eligible for the bidding process, firms must have a local office, agent or distributor to be considered an official supplier, and must consider that all products require sanitary registration. This process takes two months and has a US$400 cost per product.

Best Products/Services: Replacement of obsolete equipment and infrastructure expansions projected for hospitals and small rural clinics will increase imports of medical equipment. Best prospects include: Diagnostic imaging equipment, Surgery tables, Cardiac monitors, X-ray equipment, respiratory ventilators, Ceiling lamps, Ultrasonic scanning equipment, Magnetic resonance imaging apparatus. Other opportunities: Gloves (sterile and non-sterile), bandages, plastic bandages, immobilization products, all type of sounds, catheters, medical and surgical apparel, corrugated tubes, universal tubes, syringes and any disposables needed for hospitals and home care.

Agricultural Sectors

Apples

Imports from the US have grown steadily in the past five years, even though they continue to be under a Tariff Rate Quota. In 1997, the apple TRQ was set at 5,000 MT, now it is up to 11,000 MT. The duty under the TRQ is set at 12%. Imports outside of the TRQ pay 25%. Apple importers pay an additional Q0.07 cents (US$1.00=Q7.70) per pound, under the concession they made during 1996, which is given to the local growers cooperative. This has not affected apple imports. Under CAFTA, apples will come without quota or tariff. This will be very competitive for US apples, that have been sharing the import market vs. Chile. Apple distributors are very aggressive in their marketing strategies.

The most popular imported varieties include Red-Delicious, Golden-Delicious, Fuji, and Gala.

Opportunities: Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Costa Rica are combined into one region by most US Cooperators. All are serviced by only two or three importer/buyer groups. Importers of every country have strong relationships.

Cotton

Cotton imports have been increasing in the last two years due to the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI), which requires U.S. yarn and fabric in order to take advantage of the program.

Best Products/Services: Besides raw cotton, yarn and fabric imports have also increased dramatically.

Trade shows provide an effective opportunity to promote U.S. raw and value-added cotton products to buyers here. A Cotton USA Pavilion at the CBI Apparel Sourcing Show here reported sales of US$187,000 worth of product in 2003.

Poultry

Guatemala allows the US to supply large amounts of brand name frozen chicken cuts and is a major importer of US meat and poultry. In 2004, imports of meat and poultry totaled US$44 million, up $5 million from the previous year. This is in part because Government eliminated the TRQ for poultry in 2000. Poultry now enters with a flat duty of 15%. Once CAFTA-DR goes into effect, chicken leg quarter imports will drop by 50% due to a quota negotiated under the free trade agreement to total of 21,810 MT.

Best Products/Services: Under CAFTA-DR, a TRQ will lower the amount of leg quarters that can be imported. There are opportunities for the high value products that will benefit from the drop in duties from 15% to 0%.

Other value-added products (nuggets, sausages and chicken patties) have a good opportunity, despite the new quota for poultry under CAFTA-DR.

Red Meats

Guatemala was a large meat exporter, but with a drop in prices, production declined and imports became an important source of meat for local consumption. There is still some local production, but irregular quality is a problem. More and more, hotels and fine restaurants are priding themselves by advertising imported US meats in their menus. In 2004 there was a significant drop in U.S. exports due to the 6-month ban because of the BSE case in the U.S. Under CAFTA-DR there will be a TRQ of 1,060 MT.

Best Products/Services: US is frozen boneless comprises 60% of total US exports to the region. The other 40% is made up of high quality cuts for the HRI sector and variety meats distributed through supermarkets and wet markets.

Many meat and deli-meat processors here hope to export to the US under CAFTA-DR and will need US product to fulfill FSIS standards. As the restaurant industry grows, so does its need for quality meat cuts such as U.S. Prime and Choice pork and beef cuts.

Opportunities: The tourism sector is growing and US raw materials are preferred among visitors. This will further increase demand for quality US beef and pork. CAFTA-DR will immediate access for high-quality US meats as tariffs are removed by 2019. All other products will see tariffs phased out over the next 10 years.

Processed Fruits and Vegetables

These products have been growing in the last few years, especially canned goods with familiar US familiar brands. There is still tremendous growth available in this market, especially with private label products. In 2002 Chilean products started capturing market share. In the last two years there has been a drop in imports, as local processors increase quality and production.

Best Products/Services: US products have a presence in almost all categories. Opportunities exist in: processed whole tomatoes, potatoes prepared, jams, fruit jellies, purees and potatoes prepared frozen.

Opportunities: Most fast food restaurant chains import French fries from Canada, but US could introduce its products after CAFTA-DR due to a lower import duty from 15% to 0%. Processed whole tomatoes are imported in bulk and used to prepare tomato paste sauces and juices. Local companies such as Kern's use this to prepare the leading brand for ketchup. Sweet corn, peas, mixed fruits and prepared red peppers have an opportunity since consumers are seeking foods that are ready to eat and can also be used to prepare meals.

Grapes

The market for fresh fruit has grown tremendously. When there is no US production available during the year, Chile supplies the market. In 1998, the US supplied Guatemala with 68% of its grapes, followed by Chile with 32%).

Best Products/Services: The most popular imported varieties are: Autum Royal, Red Globe and Thompson seedless grapes. US exports of grapes continue to have great growth potential.

Opportunities: Some 60% of fresh grapes are sold in supermarkets and 40% in wet markets from Oct-Jan. From Feb-Sept, 70% is handled by supermarkets and 30% by street vendors. Guatemalans prefer to give to their children fruits and vegetables as snacks rather than ready-to-eat products.

Dairy Products

Almost 8% of dairy consumption is imported. Powdered milk is a competitive market segment. Only 15% of the supply is made in Guatemala. The US closest competitors are New Zealand, Denmark, Holland, Costa Rica, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and Panama. Mexico and Costa Rica have placed themselves in a good market situation with UHT milk with no need of refrigeration, experiencing success, indicating that the market is in search of higher quality, and better packaging. Dairy imports from the US and other countries reached US$90.1 million during 2003, of which US$9.0 million were imported from the US. Price differentials of products from the US and those from Guatemala may reach more than 100%. However, the packaging, labeling and quality of US product, is typically superior. The US Department of Agriculture has a program called the Dairy Export Incentive Program (DEIP), in order to promote U.S. dairy product exports to other countries.

Dairy will have a competitive advantage under CAFTA-DR over New Zealand. Many dairy products can be used as raw materials for the processing industry that provide great opportunities for US exports. High value cheeses will be able to compete against European cheeses once CAFTA-DR is in place.

Trade Barriers

Exporters to Guatemala enjoy an increasingly open trade regime. Imports are generally not subject to non-tariff trade barriers, though there are occasional cases of arbitrary customs valuation and bureaucratic obstacles. However, the government implemented the WTO Customs Valuation Agreement on Aug. 10, 2004, which eliminated the use of minimum import values effective Nov. 22, 2004. CAFTA would further eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade. Details: 2005 National Trade Estimate Report. Web: http://www.ustr.gov/assets/Document_Library/Reports_ Publications/2005/2005_NTE_Report/asset_upload_file210_7470.p

Openness to Foreign Investment

The administration of President Oscar Bergerm which took office in Jan. 2004, has made promotion of foreign investment and competitiveness a priority, and ended the confrontation that existed between the government and the private sector during the previous four years.

Hundreds of US and other foreign firms have investments in Guatemala, which passed a law in 1998 to streamline and facilitate foreign investment, and ratified the Central American--Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) in 2005, which is the equivalent of a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT). Despite the positive legal framework, time-consuming administrative procedures, bureaucratic impediments, inconsistent judicial decisions, and personal and product security concerns compromise the investment climate.

Foreign firms are subject to often time-consuming requirements, including demonstrating solvency, depositing operating capital in a local bank, supplying financial statements, contractually agreeing to fulfill all legal obligations before leaving the country, and appointing a Guatemalan citizen or foreign resident (with work permit) as legal representative.

The Foreign Investment Law removed limitations to foreign ownership in domestic airlines and ground transport companies in Jan. 2004. However, some restrictions remain in sectors such as auditing, insurance and forestry. For example, foreign insurance companies cannot open branches in the country, but may operate as locally established companies. There are no restrictions on foreign investment in the telecommunications and electrical power generation sectors.

The GOG privatized several state-owned assets in industries such as power generation and distribution, telephone, and grain storage in the late nineties. Upon taking office in Jan. 2000, the previous administration indicated that it would review all previous privatizations and concessions, and initiated a process to review the 1999 privatization of the telephone company. In Oct. 2001, the GOG reached an agreement with the telephone company.

Capital Markets

Guatemala's capital markets are weak and inefficient, though some consolidation and restructuring have begun as the result of reforms legislated in the past few years. Guatemala's 25 commercial banks have an estimated US$11 billion in assets. The five largest banks control about 62% of assets. There are also 17 private non-bank institutions, which perform primarily investment banking and medium and long-term lending, and six exchange houses. The Superintendent of Banks (SIB) regulates the financial services industry.

Previous banking regulations and practices allowed banks and other financial services providers wide latitude in valuing assets and evaluating performance and quality of assets. In April 2002, the Congress passed regulatory reforms that have brought local practices more in line with international standards.

The Congress passed strong anti-money laundering legislation in Dec. 2001, and authorities developed an aggressive plan to regulate offshore activities and establish a Financial Intelligence Unit. Progress in money laundering and bank regulatory reform led to Guatemala's removal from the Financial Action Task Force's list of non-cooperating countries in the fight against money laundering in July 2004.

Political Violence

The government and the guerrillas of the Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity (URNG) signed an Accord for a Firm and Lasting Peace on Dec. 29, 1996, ending the 36-year armed conflict. Political violence, already much reduced from the worst years of that conflict (1979-1984), decreased after the demobilization of guerrilla forces and civilian defense patrols, and a dramatic reduction in the size and role of Guatemala's regular army. Resumption of large-scale armed political conflict appears highly unlikely, though there are occasional incidents of violence associated with organized land invasions, protests against mining, and the like.

However, Guatemala is experiencing a post-conflict wave of common crime (kidnapping, carjacking and robberies of banks and armored cars). Personal security was a major campaign issue in the 2003 general elections and remains a widespread concern. It is often impossible to tell whether crimes, including murders, are motivated by politics, personal conflicts, organized crime, or are simply the result of random violence. Foreigners are not singled out but must remain watchful. Large firms report that security, including security of shipments, adds as much as 25% to the cost of doing business in Guatemala.

Corruption

Corruption is a serious problem. Investors have found corruption most pervasive in customs transactions, particularly at ports and borders away from the capital. Guatemala ratified the Inter-American Convention against corruption in July 2001, but has not implemented all of its provisions, such as criminalizing illicit enrichment. The new administration has taken measures to reverse the increase in government corruption, but reform remains slow. Former President Portillo, Vice President Reyes and several senior officials who served during the previous administration are under investigation for their role in corruption scandals. The former Superintendent of Tax Administration and Minister of Interior are in jail pending trial. The former Comptroller General was recently found guilty of fraud and sentenced to 17 years in prison, and the former Minister of Finance was released after spending one year in prison. Guatemala signed the UN Convention against Corruption in Dec. 2003, but it has not been ratified.

Bilateral Investment Agreements

Guatemala has signed bilateral investment agreements with Argentina, Cuba, Chile, Ecuador, France, Germany, Italy, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, the Czech Republic, and The Netherlands. Aside from CAFTA, Guatemala also signed bilaterally or in conjunction with other Central American countries, free trade agreements with Chile, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Taiwan and is currently negotiating with Canada and Panama.

Labor

The Ministry of Labor oversees a tripartite committee that makes recommendations for increases in the minimum wage. In the event that agreement is not reached. the Government may decree increases based on recommendations of the Labor Minister. This occurred in late 2005, when the President raised the wage by 10%. Including a mandatory monthly bonus for salaried workers, the increase brings the agricultural daily minimum wage to 53.8 quetzales (about US$6.90), and the wage for non-agricultural work to 55 quetzales (about US$7.05).

The Constitution guarantees the right of workers to unionize and to strike (Article 102 paragraph (q), and Article 104); it also commits the state to supporting and protecting collective bargaining and to respecting the stipulations of international labor conventions (Article 106). According to the Labor Ministry, 56,000 people (3% of the formal labor sector) were union members in 2003, the last year reported.

Employers are required to pay bonuses equivalent to one month's salary in July and December. The law establishes a two-month probation period for new employees. If dismissed after this period, employees receive separation pay equal to one month's pay for each year worked. Employers are required to make a 12.67% contribution for social security. Mandatory benefits, bonuses, and employer contributions can add up to over 60% of base pay. Many workers, especially in agriculture, do not receive the full compensation package mandated in the labor law and in practice many labor rights are not well-enforced.

The 1.8 million workers in the formal sector are augmented by at least 3 million more who work in the informal sector, including those who are too young for formal employment. In rural areas in particular, child labor remains a serious problem. The availability of a large, unskilled and inexpensive labor force has led many employers, such as construction and agricultural firms, to use labor-intensive production. Over a quarter of the workforce is illiterate. In developed urban areas however, education levels are much higher, and a workforce with the skills necessary to staff a growing service sector has emerged. Even so, capable technical and managerial workers remain in short supply, with secondary and tertiary education focused on social science careers.

Foreign-Trade Zones/Free Ports

There are 22 authorized, with twelve in operation. Commercial activities and apparel assembly operations are the common beneficiaries of Guatemala's free trade and "maquiladora" laws.

Foreign Direct Investment Statistics

There is no reliable data on foreign direct investment. Major U.S. companies, including investors (representative, but not a complete listing): ACS, American Cyanamid Co., Avon products, Cargill, Citibank, Coastal Power, Colgate Palmolive Constellation Power, Exxon, Gillette, Kellogg Co., Kimberly Clark Corp., Levi Strauss & Co., Marriott Hotels, 3M, Phillip Morris Inc., Proctor & Gamble, Railroad Development Corp., Ralston Purina, Sabritas-Frito Lay, Teco Power Services, Texaco, Warner Lambert, Xerox. Other major foreign investors: Barcelo Hotel, BD Centroamericana, Bimbo de C.A., Cindal-Nestle, Elektra, Ericsson de Guatemala, Shell Oil, Siemens, Telefonica de Espana, Telmex, Union Fenosa.

The Banking System

Capital markets are weak and inefficient, though some consolidation and restructuring have begun due to reforms approved in the past few years. The financial sector is comprised of 25 commercial banks, 17 private non-bank financial institutions specializing in investment operations, six licensed exchange houses, 18 insurance companies, 12 financial guarantors, 8 credit card issuers, 16 bonded warehouses, and 11 offshore banks which, by law, are affiliated with domestic financial groups.

New financial regulations passed by the Guatemalan Congress in April 2002 have brought local practices more in line with international standards. The Congress also passed strong anti-money laundering legislation in Dec. 2001. The Financial Action Task Force removed Guatemala from the list of non-cooperating countries in July 2004. Terrorism finance legislation was passed in Aug. 2005.

US Banks and Local Correspondent Banks

Given the importance of the US as a trading partner, almost all of Guatemala's commercial banks maintain correspondent relations with US banks. The Guatemalan Bank Association site has a link to most Guatemalan banks and its correspondent U.S. banks. Details: www.abg.org.gt/

Transportation

Visitors can access Guatemala through numerous airlines, several of which have direct flights. Airlines operating between Guatemala and the US are: American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Continental Airlines, United Airlines, and US Airways (out of Charlotte, NC). TACA, the Central American carrier, operates between Miami, New Orleans, Los Angeles, New York, Washington, D.C., and Guatemala. The US airlines listed above operate directly between Miami, Dallas, Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles and Charlotte.

Rental car companies are available, such as Avis, Hertz, Budget, etc. Traffic is heavy in Guatemala City. Taxis and shuttles to/from the major hotels are advisable, since public transportation is not up to U.S. standards.

Contacts

Oficina Guatemalteca de Acreditacion (OGA). Calzada Atanasio Tzul 27-32, Zona 12. 01012 Guatemala . Ph.: [502] 2476-6783 / 87. Contact: Juan Alberto Hernandez. E-mail: info-oga@mail.mineco.gob.gt. Web: www.mineco.gob.gt/mineco/calidad/acreditacion/oga7.php

National Quality Systems Direction. Calzada Atanasio Tzul 27-32, Zona 12. 01012 Guatemala. Ph.:[502] 2476-6784 / 87. Fax: [502] 2476-6777. Contact:Juan Alberto Hernandez. Email: info-calidad@mail.mineco.gob.gt. Web: www.mineco.gob.gt/mineco/calidad/direccion.htm

National Center of Metrology. Calzada Atanasio Tzul 27-32, Zona 12. 01012 Guatemala. Ph.[502] 2476-6784 / 87. Contact: Juan Alberto Hernandez. Email: info-metrologia@mail.mineco.gob.gt. Web: www.mineco.gob.gt/mineco/calidad/metrologia.htm

Guatemalan Standards Commission (COGUANOR). Comision Guatemalteca de Normas. 7a. Avenida 7-61, Zona 4, 01004 Guatemala. Ph.: [502] 2253-3547. Fax: 502] 2253-3547. Contact: Hector Rene Herrera Mazariegos, Dept Head . Email: hherrera@mail.mineco.gob.gt. Web: www.mineco.gob.gt/mineco/coguanor/2003/coguanor.html

Consumer Service and Support Board (DIACO). Direccion de Atencion y Asistencia al Consumidor: 7a. Avda 7-61 Zona 4 01004 Guatemala. Ph.: 502] 2361-0772 / 74. Fax:[502] 2220-8894. Contact:Lic. Silvia Padilla. Email:diacoquejas @mail.mineco.gob.gt. Web: www.diaco.gob.gt

Ministry of Agriculture. Unidad de Politicas e Informacion Estrategica, Area de Informacion. Address: 5a. Avenida 8-06, Zona 9 01009 Guatemala. Ph.: [502] 2331-4764. Alvaro Aguilar, Minister. Web:www.maga.gob.gt

Ministry of Public Health, Ministerio de Salud Publica y Asistencia Social de Guatemala. Address:6a Avenida 3-45, Zona 11 01011 Guatemala. Ph.: [502] 2475-2121 to 28. Contact: Marco Tulio Sosa, Minister. Email: info@mspas.gob.gt. Web page: www.mspas.gob.gt

Valuables and Merchandise Registry (Ministry of the Economy). Registro de Valores y Mercancias. 7a. Avenida 7-61, Zona 4. Guatemala, Guatemala 01004. Ph.:[502] 2361-2793 to 94/95. Fax: ]502] 2361-2796. Contact:Lic. Lucrecia Bermejo, Registradora. Email: lbermejo@mail.mineco.gob.gt Web: www.mineco.gob.gt/mineco/rmvm/index.htm

The Regional International Organization for Agriculture and Fishing Sanitation (Organismo Internacional Regional de Sanidad Agropecuaria--OIRSA) provides technical assistance in matters concerning sanitary measures, standards, technical regulations and the facilitation of trade to Guatemala, Mexico, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. OIRSA--Guatemala Address: 21a. Avenida 3-12, Zona 15. 010015 Guatemala . Ph.: [502] 2369-5900. Dr. Hernan Alvarado, Representative

U.S. Embassy Trade-Related Contacts

Mitch Larsen. Commercial Counselor. Guatemala/Honduras Mitch.Larsen@mail.doc.gov .

Stephen Huete. Regional Agricultural Counselor. Steve. Huete@usda.gov

Karla Tay. Agricultural Marketing Specialist. Karla. Tay@usda.gov

Oliver Griffith. Economic Counselor. GriffithO@state.gov

Thomas Palaia. Economic Officer. PalaiaT@state.gov

Troy Fitrell. Labor Attache. fitrellTD@state.gov

Glenn Anders. Director, USAID. Ganders@usaid.gov

Country Trade or Industry Associations

Asociacion de Gerentes de Guatemala--AGG. (Guatemalan Managers Association). 6a. Avenida 1-36, Zona 14 01014 Guatemala. Ph.: [502] 2427-4900. Fax: [502] 2367-5006 to 7 Contact: Alvaro Urruela, Exec Dir. Rolando Archila Dehesa, President. E-mail: servicio@agg.org.gt. Web : www.agg.org.gt

Asociacion Gremial de Exportadores de Productos No Tradicionales (AGEXPRONT) (Association of Exporters of Non-Traditional Products) 15 Avenida 14-72, Zona 13 01013 Guatemala. Ph.: [502] 2362-2002 or 2362-1995. Fax: [502] 2362-1950. Fanny de Estrada, Exec Dir. Juan Carlos Paiz, President. E-mail: informacion@agexpront.org.gt. Web: www.export.com.gt

Comite Coordinador de Asociaciones Agricolas, Comerciales, Industriales y Financieras (CACIF) (Coordinating Committee of Agricultural, Commercial, Industrial and Financial Associations), Edif. Camara de Industria, Nivel 9, Ruta 6, 9-21, Zona 4 01004 Guatemala. Ph.: [502] 2331-0651 / 2332-1794, Fax: [502] 2334-7025. Roberto Ardon, Exec Dir, Marco Augusto Garcia Noriega, President. E-mail:cacif@itelgua.com. Web: www.cacif.org.gt

Camara de Industria de Guatemala (Guatemalan Chamber of Industry). Ruta 6 9-21, Zona 4, Edif Camara de Industria, Nivel 12. 01004 Guatemala. Ph.: [502] 2331-9191 / 2334-4848. Fax: [502] 2334-1090. Ricardo Sagastume, Director, Sergio de la Torre, President. E-mail: contactemos@industriaguate.com. Web:www.industriaguate.com

Camara de Comercio de Guatemala (Guatemala's Chamber of Commerce) 10 Calle 3-80, Zona 1 01001 Guatemala Ph.: [502] 2253-5353 or 2232-4545 or 2326-8888. Fax: [502] 2220-9393 Ricardo Rodriguez, Manager, Edgardo Wagner, President, Jimmy Matus, VP. E-mail: info@camaradecomercio.org.gt. Web: www.negociosenguatemala.com

Camara Empresarial de Guatemala (CAEM) Entrepreneurial Chamber of Guatemala) Ruta 6, 9-21, Zona 4 Edif Camara de Industria, Nivel 9 01004 Guatemala. Ph.: [502] 2331-6513 / 2334-6878 to 80. Fax: [502] 2331-6513. Roberto Fernandez Botran, President, Edgar Maselli, VP. E-mail:caem@concyt.gob.gt.

Camara Guatemalteca de la Construccion (Guatemalan Construction Industry Chamber). Ruta 4, 3-56, Zona 4 01004 Guatemala Ph.: [502] 2334-4815 / 2878 / 2756 Fax: [502] 2334-5308. Marco Tulio Reyna, Manager, Claudio Koper, Pres., Juan Francisco Sandoval, VP. E-mail: cgc@concyt.gob.gt

American Chamber of Commerce of Guatemala, AMCHAM, 5a. Ave. 5-55, Zona 14, Edif Europlaza, Nivel 5, Torre I, 01014 Guatemala. Ph.: [502] 2333-3899. Fax: [502] 2368-3536. Carolina Castellanos, Exec Dir, Jose Orive, Pres. E-mail: director@amchamguate.com. Web page: www.amchamguate.com

Asociacion Nacional del Cafe (ANACAFE) (National Coffee Association). 5a. Calle 0-50, Zona 14 01014 Guatemala. [502] 2363-3138 / 2337-3720. Fax: [502] 2333-7730 / 2373-3138. Lucrecia Rodriguez, Gen. Mgr. E-mail: comercializacion@anacafe.org & guatecoffee@gold.guate.net Web page: www.anacafe.org

Asociacion de Azucareros de Guatemala (ASAZGUA) (Sugar Growers Association), 6a. Calle 6-38, Zona 9, Edif Tivoli Plaza, Nivel 7 01009 Guatemala. Ph.: [502] 2331-3087 / 2334-0628 / 2331-3049. Fax: [502] 2331-8191. Armando Boesh, Gen.Mgr. Fraterno Vila, Pres. E-mail: asazgua@azucar.com.gt.

Country Government Offices

Ministerio de Economia (Ministry of Economy). 8a. Avenida 10-43, Zona 1, 01001 Guatemala. Ph.: (502] 2238-3330 to 39 or 2232-0290 / 2253-0903. Fax: [502] 2238-2413. Marcio Cuevas, Minister. Web:www.mineco.gob.gt

Ministerio de Finanzas Publicas (Ministry of Public Finances). 8a. Avenida y 21 Calle, Zona 1, 01001 Guatemala. Ph.: [502] 2248-5001 to 5006. Fax: [502] 5203-8937. Maria del Cid de Bonilla, Minister. Web: www.minfin.gob.gt

Ministerio Comunicaciones, Infraestructura y Vivienda (Ministry of Communications, Transportation and Public Works). 8a. Avenida y 15 Calle, Zona 13 01013 Guatemala Ph.: [502] 2362-6051 / 2362-6056 to 8 Fax: [502] 2362-6066. Lic. Manuel Castillo, Minister, E-mail: comunicaciones@comunicaciones.gov.gt. Web: www.civ.gob.gt

Ministerio de Trabajo y Prevision Social (Ministry of Labor & Social Welfare). 7a. Avda 3-33, Zona 9, Edif. Torre Empresarial 01001 Guatemala. Ph.: [502] 2352-0100. Fax: [502] 2230-1363. Lic. Jorge Gallardo, Minister. E-mail: ministro@mintrabajo.gob.gt. Web: www.mintrabajo.gob.gt

Ministerio Relaciones Exteriores (Ministry of Foreign Affairs). 2a. Avda 4-17, Zona 10 01010 Guatemala. Ph.: [502] 2410-0000. Fax: (502] 2331-8410 / 2331-7938. Jorge Briz Abularach, Minister. E-mail: webmaster@minex.gob.gt. Web: www.minex.gob.gt

Ministerio Energia y Minas (Ministry of Energy & Mines). Diagonal 17 29-78, Zona 11, 01011 Guatemala. Ph.: [502] 2477-0743 or 2476-0382 / 2476-0680. Fax: [502] 2467-3175. Luis Romeo Ortiz, Minister. Web:www.mem.gob.gt

Ministerio de Agricultura, Ganaderia y Alimentacion (Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Nutrition). 7a. Avenida 12-90, Zona 13. Edif Monja Blanca, 01013 Guatemala. Ph.:[502] 2362-4764 / 53 / 56 / 58. Fax: [502] 2332-8302. Alvaro Aguilar, Minister. E-mail: magadest@intelnet.net.gt. Web: www.maga.gob.gt

Ministerio de Gobernacion (Ministry of Government). 6a. Avda 4-64, Zona 4, 01004 Guatemala. Ph.:[502] 2367-5402, 2361-5604 / 2362-0240 / 2361-5907. Fax: [502] 2362-0638. Carlos Vielmann, Minister. E-mail: mingober@intelnet.net.gt Web: www.mingob.gob.gt

Ministerio de Salud Publica y Asistencia Social (Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance). 6a. Avda 3-45, Zona 11, 01011 Guatemala. Ph.: [502] 2475-2121 to 22 or 2475-2125 to 29. Fax: [502] 2475-2168 or 2440-6286. Marco Tulio Sosa, Minister. E-mail: sigsa@mspas.gob.gt. Web: www.mspas.gob.gt

Instituto Guatemalteco de Turismo--INGUAT-(Guatemalan Tourism Institute). 7a. Avda 1-17, Zona 4, 01004 Guatemala. Ph.: [502] 2331-1333 to 47. Fax: [502] 2331-8893. Daniel Mooney, Director. E-mail:inguat@guate.net. Web: www.visitguatemala.com

Banco de Guatemala (BANGUAT). (Bank of Guatemala). 7a. Avda 22-01, Zona 1. 01001 Guatemala. Ph.: (502] 2429-6000/2485-6000. Fax: [502] 2253-4035. Lizardo Sosa, Pres. Edwin Matul R., Gen. Mgr. E-mail: crga@banguat.com.gt Web page: www.banguat.gob.gt

Ventanilla Unica de Inversiones--Ministerio de Economia (One-Stop Investment Office--Ministry of Economy). 8a. Avda 10-43, Zona 1. 01001 Guatemala. Ph.: [502] 2361-0776. Fax: [502] 2361-0776. Licda. Karina Pasadas, Director. E-mail: inversiones@mail.mineco.gob.gt

Intendencia de Aduana (Central Customs). 10a. Calle 13-92, Zona 1, 01001 Guatemala. Ph.: (502] 2221-4670 to 9. Fax: [502] 2253-7321 or 2253-4644. Hector Gonzalez, Director. Web page: www.sat.gob.gt

Registro Mercantil (Mercantile Registry). 7a Avda 7-61 y 7-63, Zona 4, 01004 Guatemala. Tel / Fax: [502] 2332-7678 or 2331-0119 /Ext 225. Eduardo Palacios, Director. Web page: www.registromercantil.gob.gt

Direccion General de Inversiones y Programa de Mercadeo del Pais (PROGUAT). (Directorate General of Investment and Marketing of the Country--Ministry of Economy). 8a. Avda 10-43, Zona 1, 01001 Guatemala. Ph.: [502] 2238-0456 or 2232-9640. Fax: [502] 2251-5055. Salvador Flores, General Director. Web:www.proguat.org

Instituto Nacional de Electrificacion (INDE) (National Electrification Institute). Address: 7a. Avenida 2-29, Zona 9, 01009 Guatemala. Ph.: [502] 2422-1920 / 2040 / 2160 / 1800. Fax: [502] 2334-5811. Contact:Carlos Colom, Gen. Mgr. Email: gerenciaservicios@inde.gob.gt. Web: www.inde. gob.gt/inde.htm

Telecomunicaciones de Guatemala, S.A. (TELGUA). 7a. Avda 12-39, Zona 1. 01001 Guatemala. Ph.: [502] 2230-4555 or 2323-2000. Jose Formoso, Gen. Mgr. E-mail: cpalmieri@telgua.com.gt. Web: www.telgua.com

Country Market Research Firms

There are no known firms in Guatemala that are dedicated exclusively to market research. The following firms provide a wide range of business consulting services:

Ernst & Young, SA. 5a. Avda 5-55, Zona 14. Edif. Europlaza Torre I Niv.12 Of. 1203 01014, Guatemala CA. Ph.: [502] 2386-2400. Fax: [502] 2385-5951. Tulischth Francisco Diaz, Dir. E-mail: eyguate@intelnet.net.gt. Web:www.ey.com Accounting Specialization: Auditing, Financial Advisor, Consultants, Income Tax, Economic Feasibilities.

KPMG Guatemala. 7a. Avda 5-10, Zona 4. Torre I, Nivel 16. 01004 Guatemala. Ph.: [502] 2334-2628. Fax: [502] 2331-5477. Arturo Aldana, Dir. E-mail: kpmg@kpmg.com.gt

Price Waterhouse Coopers, S.A. 6a. Calle 6-38, Zona 9 Edif Tivoli Plaza, Nivel 2 Of. 214 01009 Guatemala Ph.: [502] 2420-7800. Fax: [502] 2331-2819. Carlos E. Parra, Dir. E-mail: nora.galindo@gt.pwc.com. Web: www.pwcglobal.com

Tuncho Granados: 6a. Avda 20-25, Zona 10 Plaza Maritima, Of. 9-3. 01010 Guatemala. Ph.: [502] 2334-5115 / 2331-7216. Fax: [502] 2362-0200. Tuncho Granados, Director. E-mail: tuncho@c.net.gt. Web: ww.c.net.gt/ axconsult

Lara, Aranky, Ramos & Asociados, S.C.--Deloitte-5a. Avda 5-55, Zona 14 Edif Euro Plaza Torre IV Nivel 8 /010014 Guatemala. Ph.: [502] 2384-6500. Fax: (502] 2384-6555. Rolando Lara, Director. E-mail: lara.aranky@deloitte.com.gt Web: www.deloitte.com

Horwath de Guatemala, S.A. Avda La Reforma 7-62, Zona 9. Edif Aristos Reforma, Of. 802. 01009 Guatemala. Ph.:[502] 2362-9222. Fax: [502] 2362-9221. Julio Cesar Vasquez. E-mail:horwath@horwathguate.com. Web: www.horwathguate.com

Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), 12 Calle 1-25, Zona 10 Edif Geminis 10, Torre Sur, Nivel 18, Oficina 1802 01010 Guatemala. Ph.: [502] 2379-9393. Fax:[502] 2335-3319, Gerard Johnson, Rep. E-mail:cof/cgu@iadb.org Web: www.iadb.org

World Bank (WB). 13 Calle 3-40, Zona 10, Edif. Atlantis, Nivel 14, Ofic. 1402 01010 Guatemala. Ph.: [502] 2366-2044. Fax: [502] 2366-1936. Necta Sirur, Rep. E-mail: esomensatto@worldbank.org. Web:www.worldbank.org or www.bancomundial.org.gt

Washington-Based USG Country Contacts

Trade Information Center--U.S. Department of Commerce--TPCC . Ph.: 1-800-USA-TRADE

U.S. Dept of Commerce. International Trade Admin. . Office for Latin America and the Caribbean 14th Street & Constitution Avenue, N.W., Room H-3203. Washington, D.C. 20230. Ph.: [202] 482-4302. Fax:[202] 482-4726. Mark Siegelman, Guatemala Desk Officer. E-mail: Mark_Siegelman@ita.doc.gov. Web: www.ita.doc.gov

US Dept of Agriculture. Foreign Agricultural Service. Trade Assistance Promo. Office. Ag. Box 1052. Washington, DC. 20250. Ph.:[202] 720-7420. Fax:[202] 690-0193. Web: www.fas.usda.gov

U.S. Dept of State. Office of Central American Affairs. 2301 C St, N.W., Room No. 915, Main State, Washington, DC 20520. Ph.: [202] 647-3559. Fax: [202] 647-2597. Robert Boynton, Guatemala Desk Officer. Web: www.state.gov

U.S. Trade & Development Agency (TDA). 1621 N. Kent St, Ste 300. Arlington, VA 22209-2131. Ph.: [703] 875-4357. Fax: [703] 875-4009. Kate Maloney, Country Manager for Central America & Mexico. E-mail: KMaloney@ustda.gov or Info@tda.gov. Web: www.tda.gov
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