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Guatemala to position itself in Arab market through its participation in WTO’s CM13

By Amjad Saleh and Muhammad Aamir

ABU DHABI, UAE, (WAM) – Guatemala’s deputy minister for integration and foreign trade, Hector Marroquín, expressed the country’s aim to form alliances and enhance its presence in the market, particularly in the Arab region where it has limited recognition.

Highlighting Guatemala’s participation in the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Ministerial Conference (MC13), Marroquín noted that Guatemala’s current exports to the UAE, mainly cardamom, amount to approximately $89 million annually.

In statements to the Emirates News Agency (WAM) during the last day of the conference in Abu Dhabi, he emphasised “the importance of these exports for Guatemala’s economy and social aspects related to cultivation. Additionally, he mentioned the potential for growth by expanding exports to include products like speciality coffee and shrimp. Guatemala’s efforts to develop a specific investment portfolio, particularly focusing on infrastructure, essential for the country, to present to Emirati counterparts.”

Highlighting the UAE’s expertise in infrastructure, including in Latin America, the deputy minister emphasised the importance of progress in securing better access to global agricultural markets.

For Guatemala, agriculture “continues to be a vital economic sector, as we participate as a country in exports to many markets with products such as coffee, sugar and cardamom, of which we are the world’s leading exporter, as well as fruit and vegetables.”

The deputy minister highlighted significant progress in the Fisheries Subsidies agreement, focusing on protecting and recognising artisanal fishing to ensure the livelihood of coastal populations in Guatemala and stressed that other relevant agreements for his country relate to e-commerce, especially regarding the moratorium on charging customs duties on electronic transactions.

“If we manage to increase this deadline by consensus, we will allow many young people in Guatemala who bet on technology and e-commerce, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, to prepare themselves and scale their business so that they have a chance to stay in the market,” he explained the importance of reactivating the WTO’s appeals body as the primary means to settle disputes.

Apart from global trade concerns, Guatemala’s deputy minister for integration and foreign trade, Marroquín highlighted the significance of enhancing regional trade with existing partners through various mechanisms to enhance the economy; and underlined his government’s dedication to fostering a more inclusive economic system by providing increased involvement to groups and associations led by indigenous entrepreneurs and women.



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