The Head of Central America Economic Affairs at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Mr James Beeson, was in Guatemala this week to better understand the economic priorities of the new government and look at how we can improve investment and trade between the UK and Guatemala.
Mr Beeson met government officials, including the Executive Director of National Programme of Competitiveness, José Fernando Suriano; the Deputy Minister of Energy, Víctor Aguilar; the Director for Guatemala of the Central American Bank of Economic Integration –CABEI-, Emmanuel Seidner; representatives from the private sector, and other civil society organizations working on transparency issues in Guatemala.
During his meetings, Mr Beeson stressed the importance UK companies attach to clear taxation rules, and the respect for contracts and private property rights. He also highlighted the need to continue working in areas such as competitiveness, security of individuals and businesses, and emphasised the continued need for the country to tackle corruption.
Mr Beeson also announced that Guatemala will benefit from nearly 1 million quetzals (£75,000) of the British Government’s bilateral programme assistance, to help it improve the business climate and promote essential economic reforms.
The Head of Regional Economic Affairs is based in Panama City, with responsibility for the whole Central American region. The main roles of the office include the promotion of economic reforms and development needed for growth in partner countries. As well as contributing to a reduction in poverty, the hub in Panama in collaboration with other British Embassies in the region, seek to create opportunities for international business including UK companies.