[slideshow_deploy id=’1803′] Guatemala’s 2012 estimated population is 14.8 million. The country’s GDP grew at 2.8% in 2010 and is projected to top 3,0% for 2011. Guatemala’s $46.4 billion economy is the largest in Central America and represents 28% of the region’s total GDP. Per-capita 2010 GDP is estimated at $5,200. The largest central America nation is the second preferred destination for foreign direct investment ( $ 687 million for 2010) and has a sound financial system with strong international reserves and the lowest foreign debt/GDP (29.6%) ratio in the region. Guatemala retail market is the largest in Central America.
Guatemala increasingly pro-business environment welcomes international investment. The country has signed several free trade agreements, custom tariffs have been reduced, and the government is committed to instituting transparency and protecting the rule of law. The open policies, protracted political and macroeconomic stability, and sizeable domestic market, in addition to its favorable geographic position and the quality of the Guatemalan labor force, point to a significant potential for attracting foreign direct investment.
Guatemala’s retail sector has attracted strong international investment and will continue to do so given the positive economic and business environment. Walmart is the largest retailer in Guatemala with 188 stores across its different formats (Paiz 30, Walmart Supercenter 7, Despensa Familiar 131, Club Co 2, and Maxi Bodega 18). Guatemala City boasts retailers and shopping malls catering to basic and exclusive tastes, such as Simán, the largest department store from El Salvador, Carrion , which operates 9 department stores and is from Honduras, and Sears, which operates two stores.
Portales mall is one of the city’s newest projects featuring brands such as Cemaco, Juguetón, Claire’s, La Curacao, Pierre Cardin, Dairy Queen, Figaly, Burger King, Subway, McDonald’s, Shasa, Max, Sportline, and others. One of the city’s largest shopping mall is Pradera Concepción, which features, Cemaco, Gold’s Gym, Sears, Juguetón, Max, Guess, Pizza Hut, TGI Fridays. Galerías Miraflores is home to stores such as Simán, Zara, L’Occitane, Cinépolis, and an Apple Store. Oakland Mall boasts 170 stores spread across three floors, including Siman, Mango, Zara, Tommy Hilfiger, Pull & Bear, Massimo Dutti, Lacoste, Diesel, Kenneth Cole, Guess, Berksha, Benetton, Pink, Hugo Boss, Nine West, The North Face, Stradivarius, and others.
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