Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Commercial Future Bright in Peten

Coban, Alta Verapaz, is developing its economy with over 3,400 businesses four shopping centers, while the central area of Peten, comprising Flores, San Benito, and Santa Elena, are seeking new horizons to increase tourism.

National parks and archaeological sites in the Peten attract thousands of visitors each year, patronizing 28 hotels and support more than 5,000 businesses in the area.

Meanwhile, residents of Coatepeque, Quetzaltenango, Retalhuleu and other municipalities, although disorderly in their development, strengthen their communities and economies through trade and industry. They have built commercial complexes that include shops, restaurants, cinemas, and recreation.

The Imperial City of Charles V is the business center of Coban. Authorities and traders recognize that business has developed on a large scale, albeit in a disorganized fashion.

Economist Édgar Pape Yalibat believes that in recent years an economy "of dubious provenance" has arisen, which has affected small and medium enterprises. The mayor of this town, Leonel Chacon, said that an urban project that will allow the reorganization of the city.

Jaime Sobalvarro, former president of the Guatemalan Chamber of Commerce (GCC) in the Petén, says that a commercial development program must be based on organization because that is the starting point for businesses and it encourages investment. That fact has not yet been fully recognized by authorities. In Flores, San Benito, and Santa Elena, Petén, only about 5,000 businesses are supported by capital from outside of the department.

For now, San Benito is one of the most developed cities of that department, and Santa Elena is growing fast.

Other Peten municipalities to develop are Poptún, and Melchor y Sayaxché says economist Castellanos Marco Antonio Barrera.

A century ago, when Chinese citizens came to Coatepeque, Quetzaltenango, a story began to develop that caught the attention of investors from various departments who contributed to a growth in business but also a disorderly urban expansion. Julio Ibarra Barrios, president of the chapter of the GCC in that department, said that the city has 3,800 different businesses, two malls, and the largest Metamercado in Central America, valued at Q103 million.

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