Doing Business in Latin America and The Caribbean: Guatemala

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Guatemala borders the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, as well as Mexico, Belize, El Salvador and Honduras. It has a population of approximately 14.7 million people. Its form of government is republican, democratic and constitutional, and it is divided into 22 administrative units called departments. The Guatemalan legal system is based on civil law, where the judicial review of legislative acts is possible; it is administered mainly by a court system, and especially by a specific court that safeguards the supremacy of the Constitution. The legislative branch is a unicameral Congress of the Republic with members elected by popular vote for a period of four years. The executive branch is headed by the president who is also elected by popular vote for a period of four years.

Guatemala is the largest and most populous of the Central American countries with a GDP per capita roughly one-half that of Brazil, Argentina and Chile. The agricultural sector accounts for about one-fourth of GDP, two-thirds of exports, and one-half of the labor force. Coffee, sugar and bananas are the main products.

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