The estimate for the end of the year with an economic growth of 7.5%, provided by the Bank of Guatemala, constitutes an encouraging message from a technical point of view, which in turn promotes better investment horizons and macroeconomic confidence. It is necessary to limit, however, that this historical productivity expansion (preceded by the pandemic downturn of 2020 in practically all areas) is due to the tenacious effort of millions of Guatemalans, to the joint activity of thousands of small, medium and large companies , to the resilient spirit of entrepreneurs, merchants, transporters, operators, executives, managers, workers and thus we could continue listing areas of generation of ideas, innovation and wealth.
The state alone does not produce anything except expenses. He must administer the treasury, but this is financed by production by the citizen who goes out every day to honestly carry out his work in companies, as owner or employee. Proof of this is that in each electoral campaign the candidates offer to generate employment and economic improvements, but when questioned how they will do it, they usually invoke the same strategies: attracting capital, inviting companies to establish subsidiaries or logistics centers, facilitating access to credit for family or community businesses. This has been the case for more than three decades and the promises are always half-done. The current Executive and Legislative are no exception: from deficiencies in the management of the pandemic, gaps in account, vaccination failures and relegated economic laws. In other words, they put barriers to growth, by act or omission, despite which the country produces.
Exports have increased, commercial transactions increased and the sending of remittances by migrants in the United States reached new record numbers. Parallel to this, obstacles continue such as smuggling, customs fraud and the loss of the economically productive population as a result of violence, poverty and the lack of opportunities in the province, where the economic spillover has not reached, nor have concrete improvements in education, the provision of preventive health services and not even vaccines in sufficient quantity.
The US government’s plan to reduce the causes of migration involves precisely large companies that have publicly joined the initiative, which is commendable. However, it must be said, in the country there are numerous initiatives, programs and projects sponsored by successful private firms as part of a freely assumed social responsibility. It is worth affirming that, indeed, the first and most important social projection of a private company is the creation of employment under competitive conditions to be able to face demanding markets and achieve growth that encourages more job opportunities. Added to this is the contribution to the treasury for state operation.
The current moment of bonanza should not be a pretext for waste or waste, nor to increase the stake in public debt, which is already at critical levels, and much less to expand the payroll of bureaucrats or finance harmful pacts with venal trade unions. Only the rule of probity and forward-looking intelligence can lead economic growth to shift from numbers to communities, from technocratic calculations to solving pending issues of human development.