LatinNews Daily - 16 January 2023

In brief: Guatemala’s Giammattei claims economic progress

*Guatemala’s President Alejandro Giammattei has said that Guatemala’s GDP grew 4% in 2022, above the 3.7% average for the region which he said that the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America & Caribbean (Eclac) had forecast. Presenting his third annual report on his administration’s achievements, he said exports totalled over US$15bn in 2022, in line with a key promise he made at the start of his government in 2020 to boost the export sector which he said had grown 42% since 2020. He also said that his government had provided Q2.3bn (US$306.5m) in subsidies to help more than 4m Guatemalans cope with the rise in inflation stemming from the impact of the conflict in Ukraine. He cited as examples of this help, temporary support for consumers of propane gas for which Q394m had been assigned, benefiting 1.9m households. He also highlighted efforts to help the micro, small and medium size business sector (MSME), claiming that last year the government had promoted the use of a Q400m fund to benefit the sector. He said that other measures in favour of the sector included training for over 32,000 small businesses, consultancy and technical assistance and loans worth over Q121m for 20,500 MSMEs, adding that over 53,000 companies had been added to the country’s company register.

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