Written by: Jorge Benavides
Executive Director, Private Consultant of Competitiveness for FUNDESA
Within a vast diversity of information, any investor must be very clear where they are searching for information because that will ultimately be used to identify where their investment will go. For me, there are three key questions one must consider when there are conducting an Acid Test in order to determine where will be investing: 1) How easy is it to start a business? 2) How favorable are the country’s conditions for new investors? And 3) How safe will my investment be?
The first question could be answered through the IFC’s Doing Business Index, a World Bank Agency. Within the last 10 years, Guatemala has been considered the most reformed country on two occasions. When it comes to ease of starting a new business, they jumped in the rankings from 128 to 81, to reaching 71 in 2013.
The second question is in relation to the country’s conditions on competitiveness. In respect, the Global Competitiveness Index from the World Economic Forum demonstrates the country rose in the rankings 13 positions in 10 years. By 2015 this put them at the ranking of 78 out of 140 countries.
Lastly, investment security comes from the country’s risk rating that are conducted by the international credit rating agency. Today, despite the political crisis in 2015, Guatemala has maintained their evaluation position as “Investment Grade.” This has been brought upon two ratings improving within recent weeks that went from negative to stable.
Guatemala has demonstrated notable conditions that deserve to be mentioned, no so much for the realtive position before the world, but for the advances that we are starting to see form. Part of this must be told with a public-private strategy that is picked up in a competitiveness Agency long term. These are the country’s priorities when it comes to productive clusters, the priority in solving public policy (Country’s strategic imperatives, and sectorial limitations on territory), and potential cities that could be turned into major attractions for target investors. To know more about this strategy would be of great value for potential investors.
More information: www.mejoremosguate.org