Conservative politician Alejandro Giammattei has, as of 14 January 2020, replaced former President Jimmy Morales as Head of State of Guatemala. As Giammattei’s inauguration approached, confidence in Guatemala’s economy reached its highest level in two years according to the Economic Activity Confidence Index. The new President’s pro-business economic plan will be led by Minister of Economics Antonio Malouf Morales, a textile businessman and engineer. In a political programme published after his election, the President said that he will boost investment and production in Guatemala in order to create sustainable employment opportunities. He intends to improve exports, international trade, attract inward investment, and support the tourism industry, while strengthening small and medium-sized businesses. In order to create a favourable business environment, he intends to make it easier to open and close companies, to pay tax, and to go through bureaucratic procedures relating to licenses.
The President has made clear his desire to develop regional relations in support of his economic goals. He met in January with President Juan Orlando Hernández of Honduras and representatives from the US and Taiwan to discuss an agreement to create a “zone of investment” to boost employment and commercial opportunities in the region, building on the Customs Union arrangements already in place between Guatemala and Honduras.
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