With the aim of positioning the country’s exportable supply abroad, the Guatemalan Association of Exporters (Agexport) strengthens its campaign Guatemala Beyond Expectations and one of the first actions is that companies become ambassadors and can use the movement’s logo to present their products in different international markets.
The 26 ambassador companies to date are: Acuamaya, Porta Hoteles, CBC, Coprisa, Flushing, ADS Live Media, Corporación Multi Inversiones, Coco SA, Panifresh, Ultra Industrias, Carga Global, Guandy, Ingrup, Grupo Vical, Extract, Vista al Mar, Látex Casa, Tribal, Potenz Química, Frutesa, Casa Santo Domingo, Kerns, Ducal, Alianza Mayorista, Cementos Progreso, Allied Global and Chocolates Best. While others are in process.
The companies that are part of this movement have managed to give Guatemala international prestige through the quality of their products and transparent businesses, apart from complying with international standards, and the idea is to position the country’s image on the issue of export and business, commented Paola Álvarez, manager of market development and commercial promotion of the entity.
“We have very good references from these 26 companies, which together have managed to bring their products to 139 of the 147 countries to which the country exports. We know that they have contributed to the fact that when closing deals abroad, people are left with a good experience”, added the executive.
Companies must put these four values into practice:
- Ethical conduct.
- Be committed to the sustainable development of the country.
- Be inclusive.
- Exercise a transparent export culture.
Those interested in being part of this movement can apply by means of a letter, explaining the actions they promote in relation to these four values and include evidence in this regard, to be evaluated by a committee. If the development of any of them is necessary, they may have support to promote actions, complement their evidence or reinforce other practices.
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The appointment that has been granted as an ambassador (and the execution of those values) will be evaluated every three years.
The initiative is not only about a badge or logo, but will be complemented with collaborative efforts through the magazine of the same name, which publicizes the offer of the Guatemalan market.
In addition, with a visibility strategy, they have promoted various actions such as the presence and business in fair pavilions and international missions with which they have already visited 20 countries, online sites and networks, apart from participating in various events.
Guatemala does not have an international image
The sector has been waiting for a country brand and has promoted the need to establish one before recent governments, but now it has decided to implement the image of Guatemala Beyond Expectations as a badge to be used on the products offered by companies that adhere to the movement.
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“It is a strategy that was needed to be able to share Guatemala’s offer with the outside world, since it was detected in a study with public and private entities that the country lacks an external image,” Álvarez commented.
And he explained that there is no talk of a bad image, but that there is no image abroad and people do not know about Guatemala, they decide to search the internet, where some tourist destinations appear, but also messages that do not help place the country as a place where it is produced for export or investment, he said.
It is not a country brand
The executive clarified that this export movement and its distinctive are not a country brand which should integrate broader activities and different fields, but rather focuses on business, business and export.
“It is not a country brand, it is the movement, it is about companies building and getting involved to work on the visibility of the export sector in strategic markets, through these companies and how they work. They are the example and it will be shown to the world that Made in Guatemala exceeds expectations through the leadership of companies and organizations.”
The peculiarity of this movement is that it is a very wide range of businesses. For example, it includes technology because there is no technological image abroad and they do not place the country as a supplier of this segment, although there are very good solutions that have become regional and Latin American leaders. Similarly, important investments have been made in manufacturing, agricultural technology, services and others.
“In these four decades, Guatemalan exports of products have grown by 955%, since in 1981 the total was US$1,291.3 million and in 2021 the amount reached US$13,618 million,” said Amador Carballido CEO of Agexport.
To this is added the export of the service sector that in 2021 sold US$16.8 million.
Gabriel Biguria, promoter of the initiative Guatemala Beyond Expectations and vice president of the board of directors of that association, said that the initiative was born 5 years ago and has been growing and gradually incorporating more actions.