If you ever ask what is needed to invest in Guatemala, from my point of view I would have to separate it into four main areas:
Have an efficient tax collection, which can be rectified by simplifying the way to pay taxes. The simplest thing would be for the tax that corresponds to economic activity to be paid based on what is earned. As simple as it is, if you sell 100, that is the basis for taxing and paying your tax.
Promote certain tax incentives for national or foreign companies that wish to invest in the country, for example, investment in fixed assets or investment in job creation. We have a great opportunity to attract call centers or maquilas to the country; and let’s not mention BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) services.
Expand and strengthen the control mechanisms reaching the sectors considered informal so that they can have collection on these economic activities. Surely, this is a pending issue in the Tax Administration.
2. Political stability.
It is known by all the weakness that we have in our country in political matters. This is one of the main issues that an investor evaluates before deciding whether or not to enter a new country or business. The risk has increased in recent months, derived from corruption scandals, where personalities who are directly or indirectly related to the State are always mentioned, it harms us greatly.
The government needs to give a message of stability and certainty in its decisions, that its priority is to promote a transparent and stable business climate. In addition, the government’s priority must be to get away and fight corruption and drug trafficking.
3. Long-term country vision.
One of the greatest shortcomings in our midst is long-term planning and this has undoubtedly manifested itself in the Government, which has not been capable of leading a country agenda that traces the route, regardless of whether whom rules the government.
The lack of a leadership that can bring together the different instances of the country to first achieve harmonization and then establish a long-term program are among the shortcomings in our nation, where there is no route to follow, according to Pollo Campero.
Generate public or joint public-private investment to promote infrastructure, as well as satisfy the needs of the population in terms of communication, education, health and safety.
The Government has already shown that it does not have the capacity to carry out large-scale works, so it should be seriously evaluated to cede execution to the private sector to make it more efficient. That includes evaluating the areas of education and health, which among others are in total chaos.
Surely, there will be others, as well as some people who will not agree, however, I believe that the prudent thing is that as a country we prioritize attracting private capital investment, whether national or foreign, to generate the development of Guatemala.