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New Zealand and Guatemala have a warm and positive relationship, with cooperation particularly in the areas of trade and development. The New Zealand Embassy in Mexico City has been accredited to Guatemala since 1999. The first New Zealand Honorary Consul in Guatemala, Mr Emmanuel Seidner, was appointed in December 2001. The Guatemalan Ambassador in Tokyo has been accredited to New Zealand since March2007.
New Zealand's trading relationship with Guatemala has been dominated by exports of dairy products, mainly milk powder. In 2012, New Zealand trade with Guatemala totalled NZ$24.6 million, NZ$20.1 million of which were New Zealand exports (mostly dairy).
NewZealand and Guatemala are both members of the United Nations (UN), the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the Forum for East Asia – Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC) and the International Whaling Commission (IWC).
Following a review of New Zealand’s official development assistance to LatinAmerica, the New Zealand Government approved a strategy to guide its Latin America development programme until 2010.
The programme focuses on three sub regions, one of which is Central America (El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua). The thematic focus for Central America is sustainable rural livelihoods. Key contributions have included those made to the World Food Programme in Guatemala (NZ$1,150,000 in June 2006 and NZ$500,000 in June 2007), as well as to the international relief effort in Guatemala following Tropical Storm Stan in 2005. New Zealand contributed NZ$296,000 to Caritas over the period 2004-2008 for its post-war reconciliation and justice programmes in Guatemala. Most recently, New Zealand contributed $NZ300,000 to the Red Cross appeal for Guatemala following devastation caused by Tropical Storm Agatha in mid 2009.
In addition to the development programme, New Zealand runs two modest assistance programmes through the Embassy in Mexico City. The scholarships programme offers up to two places per year at New Zealand universities to postgraduate students from Guatemala and El Salvador. The second programme, the “Head of Mission Fund”, assists small community group development projects in Mexico, El Salvador and Guatemala.
In January 2002 the then Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, HonPhil Goff, visited Guatemala. The visit was the first (and only) Ministerial-level bilateral visit between New Zealand and Guatemala. It was during this visit that the New Zealand Honorary Consulate in Guatemala City was opened. The New Zealand Embassy in Mexico is responsible for New Zealand’s relationship with Guatemala, and makes regular visits to the country to meet with government and non-governmental organisations.top of page
Official Name - Republic of Guatemala
Land Area – 108,889 sq. km.
Population – 15.1 million (2012; Instituto Nacional de Estadistica)
Capital City – Guatemala City
Religion – Roman Catholic, Evangelical Protestants
Official Language – Spanish, 24 indigenous languages (principally Kiche, Kaqchikel, Q'eqchi, and Mam)
Currency – Quetzal (GTQ)
Political system – Constitutional democratic republic, universal adult suffrage
National government – Cabinet, headed and appointed by President
National legislature – Unicameral Congress of 158 members
Last election – September 2011 (presidential, congressional, municipal). Presidential second round November 2011.
Next election due – September 2015 (presidential, congressional, municipal).
Head of State –President Otto PEREZ Molina
Head of Government – President Otto PEREZ Molina
Vice President: Roxana Baldetti
Foreign Relations: Harold Caballeros
Agriculture: Efrain Medina
Economy and Trade: Sergio de La Torre
Main political parties
Unidad Nacional de la Esperanza (UNE)
Gran Alianza Nacional (GANA)
Partido Patriota (PP)
Unión del Cambio Nacional (UCN)
Libertad Democratic Renovada (LIDER)
Compromiso, Renovación y Orden (CREO)
GDP (nominal) – US$56 billion (2013 estimate)
GDP Per Capita (PPP) – US$7.3 (2013 estimate)
Real GDP Growth – 3.4% (2013 estimate)
Exports FOB – US$ 10.3 billion (2013 estimate)
Imports FOB – US$16.6 billion (2013 estimate)
NewZealand Exports (FOB)
NZ$ 20.1 million
Dairy products NZ$ 17.6 million
NewZealand Imports (CIF)
NZ$ 4.5 million (2012)
Source: Statistics New Zealand, May 2013
The New Zealand Government safetravel website has comprehensive travel information including advice on the safety and security of travel to Guatemala [external link].
Further enquiries may be directed to:
Tel: (0064 4) 439 8000
Fax: (0064 4) 439 8532
 Guatemalan Nobel Peace Prize laureate Rigoberta Menchu attends the Nobel Prize Winners' Initiative Forum, "Women Redefining Democracy for Peace, Justice, and Equality," in Antigua Guatemala.
Photo courtesy of Eitan Abramovich-AFP/Getty Images.