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Guatemala and the United States signed an agreement on Monday to strengthen their bilateral relations specifically with the aim of “boosting investment” and “generating jobs” together, according to the local government.
The “Memorandum of Understanding,” as described by the Guatemalan Foreign Ministry in a press release, was signed by Foreign Minister Pedro Brolo and U.S. Ambassador to the country William Popp, with local President Alejandro Giammattei as witness.
The agreement includes an understanding of the America Grows initiative, which the U.S. Embassy detailed in a press release “seeks to attract more U.S. private sector investment through various activities.”
These activities include “the organization of business-to-business and business-to-government roundtables, support for trade missions and business feasibility study trips, provision of technical expertise to improve the investment climate, and support for project financing,” added the U.S. consular delegation.
The “América Crece” initiative is “focused on energy, infrastructure and technology issues,” according to the Guatemalan Foreign Ministry, and was created by the United States to “catalyze private sector investment” from the U.S. in Latin America and the Caribbean, seeking to “boost investment” and “generate jobs” in Guatemala.
“It is this kind of initiative that generates a change for a better quality of life of the people and make them stay here in the country”, assured Giammattei during his speech at the signing the agreement, celebrated in the National Palace of Culture (seat of the Government), in downtown Guatemala City.
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Giammattei also thanked U.S. Ambassador William Popp for his participation in the event and indicated that there has been a “totally different dynamism” to “diplomatic relations between the United States and Guatemala” since his arrival in the country last October.
Popp replaced Luis Arreaga after the diplomat had served a three-year term from 2017 to 2020.
Each year, more than 300,000 Guatemalans migrate illegally to the United States in search of better living conditions, fleeing poverty, gangs and drug trafficking, according to various international organizations.