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Advantages of doing business in Guatemala

Advantages of doing business in Guatemala

Guatemala has experienced significant growth over recent years, turning it into one of the most competitive markets in Central America and a popular destination for investment in the sub-region. Find out about the advantages of doing business in Guatemala. Annual economic growth has only dropped below 2.5 percent on one occasion since 2000, according to the Bank of Guatemala (pdf), while the country's international commerce represents more than 30 percent of Central America's total imports and exports. The government has made great efforts to stimulate Guatemala's foreign direct investment (FDI) and trade with key regional players, and has reached free trade agreements with numerous other Latin American countries, including Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Panama, and El Salvador. Under such conditions, more and more investors are becoming aware of the advantages of doing business in Guatemala. Doing business in Guatemala: geographic location Location encourages doing businesses in Guatemala Guatemala is located in the northern part of Central America and borders Mexico and Belize to its north. As such it forms something of a gateway between North America and the rest of Central and South America. With coasts on the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea, Guatemala also has five important maritime ports, as well as two international airports, providing attractive logistics to commerce. According to data from the Bank of Guatemala, in 2018 the Central American country and Mexico had a commercial exchange that amounted to $238 billion (USD). Meanwhile,...

Costa Rica Promotes Sustainability and Growth Through Business Development Initiatives

Costa Rica Promotes Sustainability and Growth Through Business Development Initiatives

Costa Rica business development initiatives strongly support the country’s overall economic growth and welcome foreign business. With dozens of habitats and climate zones, it can be easy to only relate Costa Rica to nature and biodiversity, however, the country’s development has far surpassed economic activities from the primary sector. The growing technology scene and public strategies adopted by the government have contributed to the economy and to create sustainability.  While most Latin American countries still struggle to develop different industries to an advanced level, Costa Rica has worked on this since the early 1990s. The country's energy matrix originates mainly from renewable energies and exports are diverse, including technological devices, agricultural products, forest products, and other various manufactured articles. This diversification has contributed to billion-dollar worth of exports in both, the technological and the agricultural industries. Businesses seeking a market with demand and supply of renewable energies, high technological innovation and support for foreign investment can look to Costa Rica. In this article, we touch upon Costa Rica business development initiatives to boost entrepreneurship and business activities. Costa Rica’s business development initiatives One of Costa Rica's greatest business development initiatives is the Zona Franca. Costa Rica has a tax-free regime to boost investment, known as the Zona Franca Regime (FTZ). FTZ provides tax exemptions to business in especified industries. These exemptions are not indefinitive...

Update on Mexico’s Marijuana Laws for Business

Update on Mexico’s Marijuana Laws for Business

This year industry experts are confident that Mexico’s lawmakers will introduce new marijuana laws and implement a separate government entity to regulate the industry. This will give Mexico a strong competitive advantage among other regional cannabis producers, as it has potential to become the largest host of adult consumers in the world. Mexico’s Marijuana Laws have proven difficult to implement. Since 2009 there have been multiple proposals, falling short of an agreement. In 2017, the Supreme Court passed legislation permitting the use of medical marijuana. Although legal, it still remains largely unregulated by the Mexican Government, causing investors to hold off due to the uncertainty involved. Fortunately, this has sparked a major global interest for investors who have since then been closely monitoring the progress of the proposed bill. Industry experts are confident that marijuana will be legalized for commercial purposes later this year. In early November 2019, the proposed cannabis bill failed to meet the deadline, caused by strong pressure from big cannabis companies wanting a more favorable deal, due to the current limitations on foreign ownership and mergers and acquisitions. This was the fifth time the court was unable to legalize the proposed bill. Fortunately, in Mexico when the Supreme Court reaches a similar verdict on an issue five times, it becomes unconstitutional to ban possession or use. The Senate decided to postpone the deadline, giving lawmakers until 30 April, 2020 to propose a new bill. This leaves industry experts confident that marijuana for...

Economic Growth Law: Tax Discounts for Business in Colombia

Economic Growth Law: Tax Discounts for Business in Colombia

On 27 December 2019, Colombian President Ivan Duque signed the country’s new Economic Growth Law, called ‘Ley de Crecimiento Económico’, a stimulus package aimed to support business and low income households. The law introduces new tax discounts for businesses in Colombia, among other reduced taxes and contributions for households. Colombia is one of the most promising countries in Latin America for foreign investors and entrepreneurs, and offers stable legal frameworks for businesses. Despite recent political events, Colombia remains a strong contender for foreign investment and shows consistently positive economic growth. Tax discounts for business in Colombia The Economic Growth Law introduces new tax discounts for businesses in Colombia, among other reduced taxes and contributions. Colombia’s Congress approved the Economic Growth Law (Ley de Crecimiento Económico), and President Duque promptly signed it in late December. From 2020 onwards, the government expects the law to boost foreign direct investment into the country, thanks to new tax discounts for business in Colombia. Businesses can enjoy reduced taxes on certain imported capital goods. The Law promises easier tax filing processes for smaller businesses. Additionally, the Law also implements changes to: Goods and services tax National consumption tax Individual income tax Dividends and participations Standardization Tax Income tax Declaration of assets abroad Financial transactions tax (GMF in Spanish) Procedural aspects of business. Notably, company income tax will be reduced from 33% to 30% over three years,...

Colombian Oil and Gas Companies Amidst the Tech Revolution: Part 3

Colombian Oil and Gas Companies Amidst the Tech Revolution: Part 3

The Colombian oil and gas sector is undergoing a period of technological change, alongside other key revenue-generating sectors in Colombia. After exploring the government’s commitment to Colombia’s modernization through its National Development Plan (PND), and briefly introducing the PND’s intersecting pacts that could have a technological impact in the oil and gas industry in Colombia, it is vital to put theory into practice. We break down the essential elements of these intersecting pacts aimed at greater technological development in Colombia, and their relationship with the country’s oil and gas upstream, midstream and downstream operations. Colombian Oil and Gas Opportunties - Discussion in three parts This series, “Colombian Oil and Gas Companies amidst the Tech Revolution” is divided into 3 parts. Parts 1 and 2 outlined the status and potential of, and challenges for oil and gas industry development. We introduced Colombia's National Development Plan, and how several objectives within that plan known as 'Pacts' will impact the future of oil and gas. With Part 3, we build on the theory and government objectives and consider how the country can achieve modernization and growth in the oil and gas sector. Intersecting pacts in the National Development Plan As mentioned in Part 2, there are several pacts driving modernization in the National Development Plan (PND) that cross paths, and can be applied to the oil and gas industry in Colombia. These include: Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Digital Transformation Mining and Energy Resources. We take a deeper dive...

Colombian Oil and Gas Companies Amidst the Tech Revolution: Part 2

Colombian Oil and Gas Companies Amidst the Tech Revolution: Part 2

Fundamental industries in the world’s economies are undergoing a revolution founded mainly on science, technology, and innovation (STI), and information and communication technologies (ICT).   Companies are a part of this revolution, continually exploring new ways to gain value by reducing costs, optimizing, and becoming more efficient. Governments’ and private firms’ growth strategies now include investment in new digital technologies leading to innovative business models. But what about Colombia? Where does the country stand in terms of this revolution? It’s relevant to take a quick look at modernization in Latin America, with an emphasis on Colombia and its oil and gas industry. We explore the government’s commitment to Colombia’s modernization and the impact that this effort may have on oil and gas activities. Colombian Oil and Gas Opportunties - Discussion in three parts This series, “Colombian Oil and Gas Companies amidst the Tech Revolution” is divided into 3 parts. In Part 1, we gave an overview of the oil and gas industry and its response to the impending tech revolution. We discussed some of the challenges the oil industry faces during this process, and the role technology could play in Colombia's upstream, midstream, and downstream elements. In Part 2, we lay out a general view of Latin America in the context of digitalization, and then narrow the scope to Colombia. We introduce key elements of the government's National Development Plan that will drive technological change. This includes the Digital Transformation Pact, Science, Technology and Innovation Pact,...

Why are Brazilian Businesses and Investors Moving to Paraguay?

Why are Brazilian Businesses and Investors Moving to Paraguay?

Paraguay is now competing with regional powers for an increasing cut of the region’s foreign direct investment. Thanks to prudent fiscal policymaking, landlocked Paraguay pulled through troubled times when its major trade partners, Brazil and Argentina, were hit by the 2008 global financial crisis. The country has experienced positive economic growth since the arrival of now ex-President Horacio Cartes in office. Though still operating in the shadows of bigger players in the region, such as Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Chile, Paraguay is carving out its niche in local and global markets. With increased diversification in its industries, the country is no longer an agricultural one-trick pony. As the country draws some of the limelight away from traditional economic hotspots, Brazilian investors are taking advantage of new and incentivized opportunities. Brazil Companies Investing in Paraguay - Upturn in Paraguay’s economic outlook A diversified economy and controlled inflation levels are crucial aspects of Paraguay’s consistently buoyant economy. This regional powerhouse is one of the worlds top producers for soybeans, and makes a significant contribution to global beef, corn and sunflower supply. Brazilian think tank Getulio Vargas Foundation rated Paraguay as South America’s Best Investment Climate for the years 2016 and 2017. In 2012, Brazilian foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country reached US$809 million. Now Paraguay demonstrates a real strength in a number of commercial and lifestyle aspects, thanks to its climate, geographical diversity, and incentives in...

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