LatinNews Daily - 19 March 2024

In brief: Guatemala and US boost economic ties

*Delegations from Guatemala and the US, headed up by Guatemala’s President Bernardo Arévalo and US Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Jose Fernandez respectively have taken part in a High-Level Economic Dialogue (HLED) in Guatemala City, which the US State Department notes is the first to have taken place between the two countries. According to the US State Department, the two sides “underscored their shared interest in deepening the bilateral partnership in order to stimulate sustainable, inclusive, and equitable economic development and accelerate the creation of good jobs that would benefit Guatemala and the region”. The delegations highlighted cooperation in the areas of good governance; increased investment, competition, and infrastructure; supply chain resiliency; greater food security; and a more resilient energy sector. Specific agreements unveiled following the meeting include: plans for the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to provide technical assistance to establish, expand, and/or strengthen targeted ministries and executive branch entities’ integrity units in order to address corruption; and the announcement by the Inter-American Foundation (IAF), a US government agency, which currently supports 34 Guatemalan organisations, of US$1.1m in new funding, which has been matched by grantee co-investment for a total value of US$2.2m. Other announcements include that of US$650,000 from the US State Department’s Transaction Advisory Fund (TAF) to advance President Arévalo’s plans for a metro system in Guatemala City while USAID unveiled US$5m to catalyse investments in climate resilient infrastructure projects across the country. Other agreements spanned investment promotion technical assistance, agriculture and food security, and energy security.

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