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Guatemala’s Private Sector Engagement as a Tool to Prevent Irregular Migration

  • Rayburn HOB Foyer (map)

Poverty, climate change and lack of economic opportunities are among the main reasons why Guatemalan nationals migrate in an irregular manner to the north. Creating job opportunities is the most effective way to prevent the young population from being tempted to migrate irregularly. Guatemala's private sector, specifically the exporting sector, plans to generate 981,000 formal job posts in the next 4 years. These new job opportunities will be pivotal in improving living conditions back home and help reduce and deter irregular migration of Guatemalan citizens tothe United States.

The U.S. is Guatemala’s major trade and investment partner. Around 35% of our exports are shipped to the U.S. and more than 38% of our imports are U.S. products and services. Since the entry into force of CAFTA-DR, U.S. exports to Guatemala grew more than US$1.8 billion and the total bilateral trade flow increased by more than 33%.During the past 30 years, Guatemala has greatly diversified its economy. More than 74% of its current exports are non- traditional products, which include a wide variety of agricultural products, manufactured items and services.

Through this event, Guatemala’s private sector will have the opportunity to share with Members of U.S. Congress and their offices, as well as other stakeholders in Washington D.C., concrete information about their engagement to generate job opportunities and thus, improve living conditions in Guatemala, as a key factor to prevent irregular migration to the U.S.