Mister Coordinator of the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace, Miguel Gonzalez; mister Executive President of the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace, Dr. William Soto Santiago; madam General Director of the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace, Gabriela Lara; mister Executive Director of the Guatemalan Chamber of Construction, Dr. Danilo Rosales; State Ministers, Congressmen of the Republic of Guatemala, members of the Judicial Body, entrepreneurs, media, and the general public; I would like to start by giving all present foreign authorities the warmest welcome to our Guatemala. Welcome to this warm land.
It is my pleasure to be sharing here in this great conference organized by the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace, who has as main topic, “Corporate Social Responsibility for Sustainable Development.”
Social responsibility is a task for all of us, not only of the corporate sector; and I start by saying that in terms of the government, the K’atun Plan 2032 has allowed the outline of a route for the development of Guatemala through a common vision of country for a different future, guaranteeing the well-being of the population.
Development is one of the five priority themes of the General Government Policy of President Jimmy Morales. This way, in the framework of Political Economy 2016-2021, Inclusive and Sustainable Economic Growth, as its name states, we have economic growth as a priority, this being inclusive always. Its main purpose lies in directing efforts in the search for economic, as well as social and environmental sustainability for the development of the country. That is why we recognize the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility for Sustainable Development of our Guatemala.
Within that same framework of action, the micro, small, and medium corporation sector is part of the Ministry of Economy’s priority agenda, and it's currently strengthening abilities and capabilities of the MiPyME sector, through training, technical assistance, with the purpose of contributing to the economic growth of the communities. Through the formation of associative organizations, impulsing of entrepreneurship, introduction to the labor market, and facilitation of tools that promote innovation, improvement in quality, and competition of good and services.
In accordance with economic policy, entrepreneurships that are compatible with the environment and the care of natural resources are favored. Such is the case of the promotion of the chain of the Tourism Sector.
It should be mentioned that women are very important protagonists in the development of family sustainability. In many cases, they are the only generating source of income and head of household for a family. On this account, we invested in the economic empowerment of women, which contributes in the search for gender equality, the eradication of poverty, and inclusive economic growth in the country.
I can mention that we develop projects and concrete actions aimed specifically at women. Such is the case of the “Weaving Food” program, which has a strategy of productive links and strategic alliances that supports municipalities with the highest statistics of malnutrition in the country, as well as to promote products in local and international markets, and obtain commercial orders that improve the conditions of life of its beneficiaries, who in their majority, if not all, are artisans indigenous women.
Likewise, we work on a financial inclusion strategy with four transversal axes: Financial education, protection of financial users, communication and adhesion to the strategy, and entrepreneurship and development of MiPyME. This will allow for the impoverished households dedicated to informal or unstable economic activities, to have access to credits and formal financial services, which will contribute to improving their standard of living and wellbeing.
I can also comment that, according to the data collected by the OSCE/MiPyME in 2015, the industrial park of Guatemala was up to 87,313, of which about 88.73% belongs to micro businesses, 9% of these to small businesses, and 1% to medium size businesses. In contrast, let’s see how many belong to big corporations.
Let’s also take into account that the MiPyME sector generates about 80% of employment in Guatemala and contributes 35% to the gross domestic product. For that reason we, as the Ministry of Economy and as the Government of Guatemala, are strengthening public policies that supports and promotes the development of the MiPyME.
In the Ministry of Economy, efforts will continue to made to support Sustainable Development and to incorporate Corporate Social Responsibility as an important pillar for today's businesses.
The strength of our country can be found in diversity, multiculturalism, and Guatemalan talent. If we mix these characteristics, we will achieve greater development and inclusion in our country.
Guatemala is growing and now there are more investment opportunities. We must generate greater development with Social Responsibility, promoting public-private alliances for the development of our entrepreneurs.
This morning, I have only but to urge that we actively participate in the dialogue tables and forums that will take place, and that, as a derivative and result of this journey, we hope to have new tools to generate new public policies in favor of the sustainable development of our countries.