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The priorities of Guatemala’s new government

In a speech given recently at IDB Headquarters, Guatemalan president Oscar Berger highlighted public participation, political reform, citizenship and investment promotion  as the priorities of his new government.

Berger, who took office in January 2004, likened his priorities to building a house with “a solid foundation and pillars.”  He said he intended to involve all Guatemalans in a national reconstruction effort, to create “an inclusive Guatemala… where nobody is left out.”

The Guatemalan head of state spoke at a dinner hosted by IDB President, Enrique V. Iglesias.  Guests included representatives of the U.S. government, the diplomatic corps, multilateral organizations, academic institutions, and the press.

Berger, an entrepreneur, estate farmer and former mayor of Guatemala City, explained that the “foundation” of his proposal consisted of political reform and citizen participation in government.  Resting on this foundation, the “pillars” represent investment promotion and social development.  Promoting investment would foster economic growth, thereby creating jobs and providing well-being, and social development would allow for the inclusion of historically marginalized minority groups.

Mr. Iglesias reaffirmed Bank support for Guatemala’s efforts.  While making mention in his welcoming remarks of the huge task that lay ahead, the IDB president pointed out that one of Guatemala’s greatest assets—a commitment to regional integration—was an advantage that would foster even greater economic and social development in Guatemala. 

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