Guatemala Economy

Guatemala Economy

ECONOMY: AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY, LIVESTOCK AND FISHING

Main component of the primary sector is agriculture. According to smber, Arativo and arborescent crops cover 17.6% of the national territory: the most extensive cultivation concerns corn, the most traditional and widespread cereal; equally basic elements of the local diet are sorghum, wheat, rice, potatoes and beans. The most profitable lands are destined for crops for export; commercial agriculture has its most important product in coffee, of which Guatemala is among the top ten exporting and producing countries worldwide, followed by sugar cane, bananas and cotton, more recently planted in the country but which already ranks Guatemala in an excellent world position. Other industrial crops, made possible by the favorable environmental conditions, are tobacco, cocoa, citrus fruits. § Approx. 36% of the territory is covered by woods and forests; in particular the Petén, especially in the coastal strip and in the northern one, is very rich in woodworking essences, such as mahogany and ebony (in 2005 over 16 million m3 wood), as well as rubber, chicle and chinchona. § As for livestock breeding, it has about one fifth of the national territory and is a widely diffused activity. Cattle breeding prevails, practiced in modern farms and particularly concentrated in the coastal strip of the Pacific and in the Petén; sheep and goats are mostly limited to inland mountainous areas; pigs and above all poultry are also fairly represented, practically present in all the villages. § Fishing is a poorly organized activity, however it is capable of fueling a significant export of shrimp. Overall, the primary sector provides 11.4% of GDP and employs 30.6% of the active population (2007).

ECONOMY: INDUSTRY AND MINERAL RESOURCES

The industrial sector participates for almost a third in the formation of the GDP and employs 23.8% of the workforce (2007). Alongside the more traditional industries, namely food, (sugar factories, breweries, coffee processing plants, etc.), textiles (mainly cotton mills, widespread in the capital and in Cantél-Quetzaltenango), clothing, tobacco manufacturers, etc.., the cement sector, the petrochemical sector with oil refineries (in Escuintla and Puerto Barrios), the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, and the paper industry are now well represented. In recent years, the construction sector has experienced significant development, especially in the capital. However, various craft activities related to the Indian world still survive, such as weaving and dyeing by hand, the production of ceramics, etc. § The country is poor in mineral resources: mainly antimony and oil are extracted (the wells, present in Rubelsanto, Alta Verapaz and Petén, supply, with about 1 million tons per year, almost 50% of the national needs hydrocarbons) and minimal amounts of salt, zinc, lead and tungsten; moreover, the International Nickel’s Exmibal Co. mining consortium began, in the first half of the 1970s, the exploitation of the nickel deposits of Chalac-El Estor, near Lake Izabal. The energy sector is still clearly in deficit; the annual electricity production, although significantly increased (7604 million kWh in 2004), is unable to cover the country’s needs. Alta Verapaz and in Petén, with about 1 million tons per year, supply almost 50% of the national hydrocarbon requirements) and minimal quantities of salt, zinc, lead and tungsten; moreover, the International Nickel’s Exmibal Co. mining consortium began, in the first half of the 1970s, the exploitation of the nickel deposits of Chalac-El Estor, near Lake Izabal. The energy sector is still clearly in deficit; the annual electricity production, although significantly increased (7604 million kWh in 2004), is unable to cover the country’s needs. Alta Verapaz and in Petén, with about 1 million tons per year, supply almost 50% of the national hydrocarbon requirements) and minimal quantities of salt, zinc, lead and tungsten; moreover, the International Nickel’s Exmibal Co. mining consortium began, in the first half of the 1970s, the exploitation of the nickel deposits of Chalac-El Estor, near Lake Izabal. The energy sector is still clearly in deficit; the annual electricity production, although significantly increased (7604 million kWh in 2004), is unable to cover the country’s needs. began, in the first half of the seventies, the exploitation of the nickel deposits of Chalac-El Estor, near Lake Izabal. The energy sector is still clearly in deficit; the annual electricity production, although significantly increased (7604 million kWh in 2004), is unable to cover the country’s needs. began, in the first half of the seventies, the exploitation of the nickel deposits of Chalac-El Estor, near Lake Izabal. The energy sector is still clearly in deficit; the annual electricity production, although significantly increased (7604 million kWh in 2004), is unable to cover the country’s needs.

Guatemala Economy