Guatemala, January 17, 2023. -President Alejandro Giammattei met with the mayor of Madrid, Spain, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, as part of his work visit in which he will also participate in the inauguration of the International Fair of Tourism -Fitur- this Wednesday, January 18.
The meeting place was the Madrid City Hall, where the president emphasized issues of mutual interest and the challenges and achievements of Alejandro Giammattei’s administration.
During the meeting, the President highlighted the excellent relations that the Guatemalan Embassy and the Madrid mayor’s office maintain in Spain and the attention that this agency has given to fellow citizens living in Spain.
In this context, President Alejandro Giammattei cordially invited the City Council authorities to visit Guatemala, emphasizing the cultural, linguistic, historical, and social ties that join both nations.
President Giammattei said that Guatemala is an excellent destination for tourism and investment, which are factors that boost the employment and development of the country. At the same time, these factors are part of strategic pillar 5, Relations with the World, of the General Policy of Government 2020-2024.
He also expressed his satisfaction with the country’s privileged participation as a Partner Country at Fitur 2023, an activity that he considered an excellent opportunity to launch the country brand Guatemala Amazing and Unstoppable.
During the meeting, President Giammattei pointed out that the country’s gross domestic product grew by 8% in 2021 and 4% in 2022 amidst the post-pandemic period. This growth results from the combined efforts of the public and private sectors, digitalization, and simplifying administrative procedures. In this regard, he mentioned the Law for the Simplification of Administrative Requirements and Procedures, supported by the Executive Branch during his administration and approved by Congress, whose main objective is speeding up procedures and modernizing administrative management.
He also highlighted that Guatemala is one of the Latin American countries with the lowest foreign debt, which stands at 29% of GDP, according to data from the International Monetary Fund -IMF-. He added the positive country rating given by the international agencies Fitch Ratings, Standard & Poor’s, and Moody’s Investors Service in 2022 and the record increase in tax collection.
To strengthen local governments in the country, he emphasized the promotion of municipalism and presidential working visits as one of the strategies of the current administration to enhance regional economic and community development.
To consolidate relations, he encouraged continuing the “Sister Cities” practice between Guatemala and Spain with more municipalities. (Córdoba: The municipality of Montoro is paired with La Antigua Guatemala. Toledo: Almorox is paired with San Pedro Yepocapa and Chimaltenango. Zaragoza: It is paired with Zaragoza, the municipality of Chimaltenango. Granada: The city of Santa Fe has been paired with Quetzaltenango since 2000).
President Giammattei was invited to sign the Golden Book of the City Hall as a distinguished visitor at the end of the visit.
During this visit, President Giammattei was accompanied by the official delegation, composed of Foreign Minister Mario Búcaro; the Press Secretary of the Presidency, Kevin López Oliva; the Ambassador of Guatemala to Spain, Mónica Bolaños; the Ambassador of Spain to Guatemala, José María Laviña Rodríguez; and the Private Secretary of the Presidency, Geovanna Estrada.