The purpose of this paper is to explore the emergence of Guatemala into the global economy, and explore the viability of trade and investment in the country. In order to gain a proper perspective on Guatemala's current and future economic position, this exploration must be carried out in the context of the country's history, its culture, its political and legal climate as well as its economy. This paper will seek to provide a brief overview of all those aspects of Guatemala.This approach was chosen because a similar approach is necessary to successfully evaluate and conduct business in a foreign country, especially a country that is considered a viable emerging market by some, and an unstable dangerous business environment by others. It would be ideal to go into great depth for every single aspect of Guatemala as a nation, but of course, it is impossible, given the length and research limitation, to do so.
[...] Between the time Guatemala was first established as a sovereign nation and the early 20th century, Guatemala's constant interference in the affairs of other Central American countries created intense hostility in the region. The Washington Conference of 1907 was an agreement signed by all five Central American countries in which they vowed to maintain peace between themselves. This alleviated the hostility between the Central American nations, but the domestic hostility under harsh dictatorships did not end. In fact, in 1931 Jorge Ubico became president, which brought a modernization of Guatemala's financial systems but failed to free Guatemala from government repression. [...]
[...] It was in this context that Congress elected Ramiro de Leon Carpio, the attorney general for human rights, for president and he initiated a number of anticorruption reforms. The greatest development came in 1996, when Alvaro Arzu Irigoyen, the former mayor of Guatemala City and a foreign minister, became president. He purged the Guatemalan military of corrupt figures, and signed a UN-sanctioned peace accord with the guerrilla forces, who then became a legitimate political party. The violence did not cease with the peace accord. [...]
[...] All the economic forces seem to indicate that Guatemala could very well emerge as a stable model of free markets in Central America. The availability of cheap unskilled labor and the country's experience with manufacturing also represents yet another attractive aspect of Guatemala as a target of foreign trade and investment. This can be extremely attractive for a country such as the United States, whose trade balance with Asia is so lopsided to Asia's advantage, that it might be in the U.S.'s own interest to find alternative marketplaces and supply sources in Latin America. [...]
[...] Chapter I Guatemala: An Overview Geography, Climate & Topography Guatemala is the westernmost country in Central America, and is bordered by Mexico to the north and west, by Belize to the northeast, and by Honduras and El Salvador to the east. It is also bordered on the southwest by the Pacific Ocean and to the East by the Gulf of Honduras.* Topographically, Guatemala is covered by mountainous jungles and volcanoes. Some of the volcanoes reach up to heights exceeding 12,000 ft and is said to cast a red glow over the night sky. [...]
[...] If Guatemalans can successfully embark on this journey towards prosperity, they will certainly benefit in the form of access to education and will begin to catch up with other Latin American economies and join the global economy as a contributing force. *See Appendix C for the Fraser Ranking. Bibliography "Colonial Latin America Chronology." Colonial Latin America Southern Methodist University Dec 2007
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