Guatemala’s economic growth turned negative in 2009 due to a contraction in export demand from the United States and other Central American nations. The global financial crisis of 2007-09 also led to a slowdown in the foreign investments in Guatemala. The country’s real GDP growth rate has declined from 6.3% in 2007 to 4% in 2008 and -0.5% in 2009. Over 60% of the country’s GDP is contributed by the service sector, while the agriculture and industry sectors contribute 13.5% and 25.1%, respectively.
Although Guatemala has rich agricultural resources and a wide climate range that allows the country to have a diversity of crops, the inequitable distribution of land and inadequate financial support act as major constraints. Traditional crops like coffee, sugar and banana are the most popular amongst the farmers but several of them have switched to non traditional commodities like fruits, vegetables, flowers and ornamental plants. Limited accessibility to Guatemala’s large forest base makes it difficult to exploit forest products.