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Higher Employment and Productivity in Guatemala's Tourist and Agribusiness Sectors

March 3, 2011

WASHINGTON, MARCH 3, 2011 – The World Bank Board of Directors approved a project today that will improve the productivity of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Guatemala’s tourist and agribusiness sectors.

The project, through a US$32 million investment loan, will bolster MSME growth by increasing added value, product quality and integration into national and international markets. The “Enhancing MSME Productivity” Project will be carried out by the Ministry of Economy (MINECO).

“Micro, small and medium enterprises generate most jobs in Guatemala, and this project contributes to their growth and increase in productivity,” said Felipe Jaramillo, World Bank Director for Central America. “Promoting sustainable growth and productivity is one of the priorities of the World Bank’s Country Partnership Strategy with Guatemala,” he added.

The project has three components:

  1. Improving the investment climate and support services for MSMEs: Address specific issues of public, institutional and regulatory policy that have a substantial impact on micro, small and medium enterprises. It will facilitate MSME access to financial and certification services, as well as support business development.
  2. Create more productive value chains: In tourism, the project will help micro, small and medium enterprises develop attractive tourism packages and address physical, regulatory and marketing constraints. Activities include the creation of safe areas for tourist routes, training of tourist guides, institutional strengthening of tourism organizations and introduction of clean technologies in small hotels. In agribusiness, the project will promote private investment and job creation through the development of new products, use of market-relevant information, creation of niche markets and certification processes.
  3. Project monitoring and management: This component will strengthen MINECO capacities in implementation, financial management and project progress monitoring through technical assistance, equipment and training.

This US$32 million loan includes a 25-year maturity period and a 10-year grace period.

Media Contacts
In Washington
Marcela Sanchez-Bender
Tel : (202) 473-5863
In Guatemala
Cesar Leon
Tel : (502) 2329-8000