It is not commercial war, it is war.

Dr. Nicholas David Virzi Arroyave
Executive Director, CEES
Chairman, Investment Promotion Committee

The whole world fears that a trade war between the United States (US) and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) will be encrusted. They are very right to have this concern. If the US and the PRC fight, what would be at stake would be a global recession, a breakdown of globalized supply chains, and possibly peaceful relations between the world’s great powers, who have points of dispute that are not limited to mere economic.

The media and economists call the confrontation between the PRC and the US as Trump’s trade war. Experts criticize Trump’s trade protectionism, based on common knowledge that protectionism harms the economy of the countries involved. They are right. Free trade is always better than protectionism, from an economic perspective.

However, the US position should be viewed from a political perspective, not just an economic one. Trump does not practice protectionism against free trade. It does it against countries more protectionist than the US. The US is more open to free trade than the European Union, Canada, Mexico, and the PRC. That is why many have given in to Trump’s reasonable demands that they comply with the principles of free trade.

Incredibly, the mass media, Trump’s enemies, admit it. John King, of CNN, admitted that “Trump is absolutely right. China has been making unfair competition for decades. ”1 The New York Times published an article saying Trump was right to confront China.2 These are just two examples of the anti-Trump mass media, so they give a lot to reflect on .

In my opinion, the US and the PRC need each other and will reach an agreement. China and the US are so interdependent that it is not an option not to reach an agreement. However, it will not be the last confrontation.

Ver más

Growth lessons for Guatemala

Guatemala is not a poor country; it is a country with many poor people. That is a big difference. Even so, Guatemala does not take advantage of its many blessings in resources, geostrategic position and generally, in its wealth, to optimize its path to growth.

If there is a lesson to be learned from economic history, that is that natural resources do not suffice to guarantee progress for a country. The regions of the world most blessed in strategic resources, Latin America and the Middle East, stand out for their cultural backwardness, internal conflict, and high levels of unequal access to human progress opportunities. Based on data from the International Monetary Fund, “Latin America and the Caribbean”, and the “Middle East and North Africa” represented 7.6% and 4.6% of the global product in 1980, respectively.  For 2020, the structural share of Latin America and the Caribbean in the global product is expected to go down to 6.1%, and to 3.7% in the Middle East. Meanwhile, emerging Asia increases its share from 6.8% in 1980 to 24.1% in 2020.

The difference?  Development models based on actual export competitiveness and a free trade foreign policy. Hong Kong, for example, is a model for Guatemala to follow. It ranks first globally in the Economic Freedom Index of the Heritage Foundation. Hong Kong reports excellent grades in property rights protection, government integrity, trade freedom, freedom to invest, and fiscal sanity, among other things. These are all matters of political will and, if Guatemala wanted it, it could easily replicate them. If Guatemala were to bet in favor of more trade freedom, greater government integrity, and enhanced protection for private property, the private sector would take care of rising Guatemala to become an economic power in the region. 

Ver más

World Day of the Intellectual Property: aspire to the gold: the PI and the sports

World Intellectual Property Day is celebrated on April 26 of each year. The theme chosen by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) this year is “Aspire to gold: IP and sport”, emphasizing the relationship between sport and intellectual property rights, including trademarks, advertising signs, invention patents, copyrights, related rights, image rights, among others.

The promotion of innovation and creativity, through the protection of intellectual property, is undoubtedly a determining factor to boost the competitiveness of a country. So that in addition to supporting the athlete or athlete in the development of their discipline, it is necessary to create and support initiatives to protect property rights that occur in their environment and take advantage of licensing strategies for this type of rights to generate business.

Technology is a link between sport and intellectual property, which is crucial to generate economic benefits, for example, through the creation of software or mobile applications related to sports and through the licensing of broadcasting rights, including television, cable, digital platforms, etc., making sporting events reach a greater number of people. In Guatemala we had the experience with the last FIFA World Cup Russia 2018, in which for the first time the matches were available on different platforms.

Sport is a global issue, capable of boosting international trade and improving the reputation of a country, so that searching for the mechanisms and strategies to generate business and investment in its environment, merits research and implementation of the actors involved in the subject, since the options offered by intellectual property have already produced success stories at the international level.

Ver más

New Perspectives in Security Management

Lic. Alejandra Méndez Guzmán

The global society of the 21st century has created new parameters and trends that demand multidisciplinary approaches to face the threats and to take advantage of the opportunities brought about by the new political and social dynamics of today’s world. Companies face the challenge of ensuring the continuity of their operations and protecting their tangible and intangible assets in uncertain, changing and complex settings. Therefore, the vision of security must be broader, more comprehensive and strategic. 

Investments need stable and secure environments. However, Central America is going through a complex political and social moment that has become a great challenge for business. Consequently, security teams must adapt quickly to new circumstances and face new risks by being innovative, flexible and efficient. 

For fourteen years, the OSAC Guatemala Chapter and Amcham have worked together to establish a forum for learning and the exchange of knowledge, experiences and future scenarios for the security of companies, underscoring the importance of joint work by governments and the private sector to overcome security challenges. This year, the Regional Security Convention “New Perspectives in Security Administration” aims to provide efficient and effective tools, incorporating multidisciplinary approaches that allow companies to achieve better results in corporate security plans. 

The OSAC 2019 Convention closed with the call for security professionals to move from traditional prevention and reactive activity to strategically managing the uncertain environment to minimize risks and threats. For this, it is necessary to incorporate technology, make good use of digital tools, add intelligence and innovate in the administrative management model. New parameters and trends require that we adapt quickly.

Ver más

Article SySO Conference – Cristina Sandoval

Cristina Sandoval
Asociada Senior

Consortium Legal Guatemala  

Last Wednesday, February 27, the conference “What to do in a Labor Inspection -SYSO-” was held, in which Dr. Mynor Mejía, Chief of the Accident Prevention and Safety and Hygiene Section of the Guatemalan Social Security Institute -IGSS-, participated.  Mr. Julio Velázquez, General Inspector of the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare -MINTRAB- and the expert lawyers in the matter Marycarmen Rosal, Otto Rogelio Díaz and Cristina Sandoval, in which the importance of compliance with the occupational health and safety standards -SSO- contained in national and international regulations, specifically Governmental Agreement 229-2014 and its amendments, while all employers, intermediaries, suppliers, contractors or subcontractors and third-party companies are obliged to adopt and implement in practice in the workplace, the SSO measures to protect the life, health and integrity of its workers.

The inspection process on OHS in the companies was reviewed through the inspectors of the MINTRAB or the IGSS, who are obliged to identify themselves and explain the reason for the diligence, as well as the obligation of employers and employer representatives to allow such inspections in the work centers. Likewise, it was clarified that within the aforementioned inspections, which are mostly carried out due to complaints from workers, in addition to reviewing the due compliance of companies in SSO regulations, they also check compliance by workers, who, incidentally, are subject to to the imposition of an economic fine for non-compliance.

Among the main topics addressed in the conference, are highlighted:The sanctioning faculty of MINTRAB inspectors when identifying a breach of SSO regulations in work centers, as well as the faculty of MINTRAB and IGSS inspectors to suspend all or some of the premises of a certain workplace and to prohibit the use of certain machines in case of serious danger to the life of workers until the necessary safety measures are taken. Among the main non-observances were mentioned: occupational health and safety plan, occupational health and safety monitor, bipartite SSO committee, among others;

That in an SSO inspection the employer can request the accompaniment of the technicians of the occupational health and safety department of MINTRAB;The importance of notifying the legal warning about accidents in the work centers established in the Ministerial Agreement 191-2010, since they are necessary for statistical reports and for the execution of national policies);

Training of monitors through the Section of Hygiene and Safety and Prevention of Accidents of the IGSS, among others.It was highlighted that the non-compliance with the SSO regulations, in addition to provoking legal sanctions, causes work accidents or occupational diseases that negatively impact the integrity of the worker, their families, the productivity of the companies and the economic development of the country. .

This account promotes training, events or workshops where the aim is to socialize the regulations in such a way that the ultimate goal is met, which is the protection of life, health and integrity of workers.

Ver más