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President of Guatemala and major private sector players attend Palladium's project launch

From left to right: Chief of Party Joseph Daniel Mooney; USAID Mission Director John A. Beed; Guatemalan Minister of Economy Asisclo Valladares; US Ambassador to Guatemala Luis E. Arreaga; Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales; Minister of Labor Aura Leticia

The Western Highlands region of Guatemala has been experiencing unprecedented rates of outward migration. Palladium was recently awarded the five-year, $70 million economic growth project: Creating Economic Opportunities. Palladium launched this project at an event that included the President of Guatemala and the United States Ambassador to Guatemala among 250 other high-level attendees.

By working closely with Guatemala’s private sector, Palladium aims to boost investment and create jobs to provide economic opportunities in the Western Highlands and lessen the tide of outward migration.

The Creating Economic Opportunities Project has several ambitious goals, which include attracting $75M of investment to productive sectors, facilitating $60M of financing to strengthen small and medium-sized companies, and creating 50,000 jobs with an emphasis on employment for women and youth.

“We believe that Guatemala has the capacity to generate inclusive economic growth which will benefit all Guatemalans,” said Project Chief of Party Dan Mooney at the launch event. “The project seeks to mobilize local, national, and international resources to deliver growth that is market-oriented, sustainable, and inclusive.” The project will use a market-led approach, working with firms to grow and expand formal business and employments in sectors including agro-processing, tourism, technology, and manufacturing.

The project’s four main components will act together as catalysts by promoting trade and investment in high-potential industries and economic corridors; mobilizing financial services for Guatemala’s businesses; supporting the upgrade of productive infrastructure in the Western Highlands; and improving private sector competitiveness. “With the collaboration of an excellent group of public and private sector partners, we can achieve fundamental change in the lives of many Guatemalans,” our Chief of Party said.

During the launch, three Letters of Intent were signed by two key exporters and one financial institution: handmade Mayan arts and crafts exporting firm Casa Cotzal, the nationwide financial cooperative MiCoope, and software development company Software y Servicios de Automatizacion (SSASA).

Other leading businesses represented at the event included: financial and investment institutions including Banco Industrial, Banco G&T, Financiera SUMMA and Starfish Impact; large national producers and exporters such as meat-processing company Toledo, vegetable oil producer Alimentos Ideal, fruit processing company FRUTESA, coffee exporter ANAKAKAW, and even the CEO of Domino’s Pizza Guatemala!