Trade Center

We are Your Gateway to Foreign Markets

Our main goal is to promote and foster increased bilateral trade relations in the DR-CAFTA region (United States, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic) through trade and by attracting foreign investment to the country.

What Do We Seek?

To be facilitators of business opportunities among the United States, Guatemala and the DR-CAFTA region by effectively linking supply and demand. We also seek to support business development in the international arena through timely and focused technical advice on exports, imports and business internationalization.

We Are your Strategic Partner for Doing Business with the United States and the DR-CAFTA Region

The Trade Center has staff highly qualified in foreign trade and can provide information regarding the political and social environment in the DR-CAFTA region.

Services

Procurement of business appointments with potential domestic or foreign customers/suppliers, facilitating business with AMCHAM’s institutional support.  

With the purpose of generating business to the corporate sector, activities are coordinated to increase and facilitate the networking and business deals to the sector.

Specialized consultancy in foreign trade. We have the support of specialists with knowledge in Free Trade Agreements, regulations and market access requirements, tariff information, customs, among other issues related to foreign trade.

We offer technical analysis according to FDA regulations on food labels that wish to be exported to the United States

Preparation of contact lists with potential customers or suppliers of the product or sector of interest.

What is DR-CAFTA?

The DR-CAFTA (Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement) is a bilateral agreement which seeks to create a free trade zone among the signatory countries. It provides permanent benefits to 80% of the Central American products covered by the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) and represents a thirty billion dollar trade volume. It contains twenty-two chapters, each divided into articles.

Considering that the fundamental section of the agreement contains provisions concerning trade treatment, it should address elements such as tariffs, customs movement, product origin and domestic rules for traffic in goods. As a complement, CAFTA contains rules on matters regarding sanitary production and environmental protection, respect of intellectual property rights and public and private investment, as well as labor legislation in the CAFTA area States. It also contains mechanisms for dispute settlement and for establishing rules by mutual agreement.

General Data:
  • Entry into force in Guatemala: July 1, 2006.
  • DR-CAFTA represents a great opportunity for Guatemala: 1. Clear rules on how to do business: it allows 80% of the products from the region to enter the United States duty-free. 2. The remaining 20% will become duty-free within a maximum period of 20 years.
The Four Rules of the Agreement:
  • Reduction and elimination of the main trade barriers.
  • Prohibition of the adoption of unilateral measures that might affect bilateral trade.  
  • Domestic treatment: gives equal treatment to aliens and nationals.
  • Multilateral implementation.
Goals:
  • Promote trade expansion and diversification in the region;
  • Eliminate obstacles to trade and facilitate the cross-border movement of goods and services;
  • Promote fair competition conditions in the free trade area;
  • Substantially increase investment opportunities and enforce intellectual property rights.

The agreement does not contravene previous regional agreements; hence the Central American integration process is not affected. However, any measures taken at the regional level shall be subject to the provisions of the FTA, which put the agreement above any new regional integration arrangements.

Who Manages Implementation of the Agreement and any Disputes that May Arise?

In Guatemala, the Ministry of Economy is responsible for managing the agreement through the Foreign Trade Administration Bureau.

In the United States, the responsible agency is the office of the United States Trade Representative.

More DR-CAFTA Information

For more information, contact:

Gabriela Negreros , Tel: 2417-0805, gnegreros@amchamguatemala.com