LatinNews Daily - 31 March 2023

In brief: Guatemala pledges to boost ties with Taiwan

*The Guatemalan government led by President Alejandro Giammattei has said that it plans to strengthen ties with Taiwan ahead of a three-day visit beginning today (31 March) by Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen who will then visit Belize. The visit follows Honduras’s recent decision to break ties with Taiwan and establish relations with mainland China. This leaves Taiwan with just Guatemala and Belize as allies in Central America, previously a bastion of support for Taipei. In a press conference, Giammattei said that during President Tsai’s visit, there were plans to sign cooperation agreements in areas such as agriculture, health and education. Guatemala’s trade with Taiwan remains dwarfed by that with mainland China however despite the lack of relations with Beijing. According to figures from Guatemala’s central bank (Banguat), Guatemala’s exports to Taiwan totalled US$112.3m in 2022 out of a total US$15.7bn, while imports totalled US$234.9m out of a total of US$32.1bn. Meanwhile Guatemala’s exports to China totalled US$440.7m in 2022, while imports totalled US$4.4bn.

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