Secretary of Commerce Leads U.S. Delegation to Guatemala

REF# 2020-01                                                                                                                                               January 14, 2019

United States Welcomes Giammattei Administration with Commitment to Work Together to Catalyze Up to One Billion Dollars to Invest in Economic Development

From January 13th to the 14th, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross led a Presidential delegation to attend Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei’s inauguration and congratulate the Guatemalan people on a successful democratic transition of power. The delegation underscored the United States’ commitment to development and prosperity across the country and intends to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to catalyze up to $1 billion in private sector investment in Guatemala over the next three years. This investment is part of America Crece, a U.S.-government program designed to spur economic growth throughout Latin America. Other delegation members included U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala Luis Arreaga, Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf, and U.S. International Development Finance Corporation CEO Adam Boehler.

“Guatemala is one of the United States’ closest partners in Latin America, and under President Giammattei’s leadership, we expect our partnership to deepen,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “Moreover, our commitment to catalyze up to $1 billion in economic development is evidence of our continued faith in this key relationship.”

The delegation met with President Giammattei to express the United States’ commitment to partner with Guatemala to spur economic growth and support good governance. Additionally, the delegation noted its appreciation for Guatemala’s efforts to stem illegal immigration and underscored that these efforts are key to the relationship.

Later this week, the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) intends to sign a MOU to work with the Government of Guatemala to mobilize up to $1 billion in private sector-led economic development projects. Secretary Ross and DFC CEO Adam Boehler met with leaders from the private sector and non-governmental institutions to discuss how they could partner on important areas such as critical infrastructure, agriculture, border protection, technology and innovation, women’s economic empowerment, and small and medium-sized enterprises. Boehler stressed DFC will coordinate with the Guatemalan government to target support in areas of highest need, starting with Quetzaltenango and the surrounding highlands. Boehler added that, “Private sector growth can help stem the migration flow by improving people’s livelihoods. We are here to invest and create jobs, and we look forward to working with the Giammattei administration to do so.”

While in the country, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf carried out a series of meetings with senior law enforcement and security officials. Wolf commented, “Our meetings today were productive and positive. I look forward to working with President Giammattei and his team to continue our already strong partnership to reduce illegal immigration to the United States.”

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