Closures in Guatemala's Industry

Lack of security and high energy and logistical costs have caused the closure of 150 industrial companies in the past 5 years.

Monday, August 10, 2009

127 maquila operations have closed since 2005, firing 60.000 people. Pharmaceutics company Sanofi-Aventis sold its assets in Setember 2007, Avon did the same by the end of 2008, and more recently Kellog's announced its decision of closing its industrial operations in the country.

This worrying trend, dubbed "deindustrialization" by some analists, is caused by high logistics, energy and security costs, in addition to cheaper labor in other countries.

"Each day, more and more companies are evaluating moving to other countries like Mexico or Costa Rica. We have been dormant in economic policies, while other nations, like Peru, have attracted investments with public-private participation laws", remarked Lisardo Bolaños, analyst for the Center for Economic Investigations, in a news article in El Periódico newspaper.

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The new business entity seeks to convene 100 companies in two years, and foster business development, trade and investment between Panama and the European country.

The Franco - Panamanian Chamber of Commerce (CCFP) is a non profit organization that seeks to bring together the business sector of both countries to promote business development, trade and investment.

Costa Rican Plastics Firm Moves to Nicaragua

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A company producing polyethylene products has closed part of its operation in Costa Rica due to the high cost of production in the country and transferred its factory which is now operating in Nicaragua.

The high costs that firms have to incur to produce competitively in the country is the main reason behind the partial closure of the Yanber company's operations in Costa Rica and its transfer to Nicaragua.

Kellogg's Closes Guatemalan Plant

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The company announced the closure of its Guatemalan production plant in November.

The facility will be used in the distribution chain, for the national market, of products imported from Mexico.

Francisco Alcalá, Kellogg's executive, said: "I regret having to inform that we've decided to close Kellogg's production plant in Guatemala.

Panama: Latin American Base for French Companies

March 2009

French investment in Panama has reached $600 million and is projected to reach $1 billion in 2010.

An article by AFP in reported that the French ambassador to Panama, Pierre Henri Guignard, said: "Panama is a key player in the globalization of Latin America and our companies understand this."

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