Guatemala - Economic sectors

Guatemala's economy, while still largely dependent on the income and employment provided by the agricultural sector, has been successful in developing its manufacturing and service sectors, thereby remaining competitive within the global market. Among the products and

Country Newspapers Radios TV Sets a Cable subscribers a Mobile Phones a Fax Machines a Personal Computers a Internet Hosts b Internet Users b
1996 1997 1998 1998 1998 1998 1998 1999 1999
Guatemala 33 79 126 28.5 10 N/A 8.3 1.26 65
United States 215 2,146 847 244.3 256 78.4 458.6 1,508.77 74,100
Mexico 97 325 261 15.7 35 3.0 47.0 23.02 1,822
El Salvador 48 464 675 N/A 18 N/A N/A 1.17 40
a Data are from International Telecommunication Union, World Telecommunication Development Report 1999 and are per 1,000 people.
b Data are from the Internet Software Consortium ( ) and are per 10,000 people.
SOURCE: World Bank. World Development Indicators 2000.

services most important to Guatemala's economy are coffee, sugar, cotton, bananas, apparel, food processing, and tourism. Some of these industries date back to the early post-independence era, while others are just beginning to blossom. Tourism, for instance, was severely impeded until recently, when the Guatemalan peace accords were signed and the process of demilitarization commenced.

A look at Guatemala's economic sectors over the past thirty years shows that while there has been movement between the agricultural, industrial, and service sectors, that movement has not been uni-directional. Instead, the only well-established pattern seems to be the gradual

decrease in agriculture's contribution to the GDP. This trend away from agriculture is generally viewed by development economists as a positive occurrence, since prices of agricultural products on the international market are subject to sharp, sudden declines and can create economic instability. Overall, the structure of Guatemala's economy is stable and fairly well balanced, providing it with a necessary foundation for expansion in the future.

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