Employers Applaud Port Intervention

Guatemala’s business sector is calling for processes to expedite the delivery of goods to be taken into account in order to avoid economic losses.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

From Diario de Centroamérica, by José Pelicó:

Intervention over Port Santo Tomás Welcomed

The business sector sees the government of Otto Perez Molina’s intervention with the company Portuaria Nacional Santo Tomás de Castilla (Empornac), in Puerto Barrios, Izabal, as positive as this will put things in order and prevent further corruption.

Through Government Agreement 53-2012, the intervention was announced as indefinite, starting from yesterday, so as to make services transparent and more competitive.

Carolina Castellanos, executive director of the Guatemalan Chamber of Commerce (Amcham), stated: "The provision is positive if they solve the problems of evasion, corruption and smuggling", such as those committed in Puerto Quetzal, which was also under intervention measures last year.

Roxana Baldetti, vice president of the country, said the purpose of this decision is to make the Empornac to become competitive.

"Ports are a key element for the country’s competitiveness, and the better management and has transparency they have, the stronger the competitiveness," said Luis Godoy, president of the Guatemalan Association of Exporters (Agexport).

However, employers were concerned about the setbacks that the measure could cause to trade facilitation. "With the intervention of Puerto Quetzal procedures were slow," said Castellanos.

However, the AmCham and Agexport and reiterated that "transparency in handling and loading and unloading attracts more trade."

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