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Guatemalan Apparel and Textiles Exceed Traditional Exports

During the opening ceremony of the 23rd edition of the Apparel Sourcing Show (May 20-22) in Guatemala City, President Otto Perez Molina announced apparel and textile exports from Guatemala have surpassed traditional items like coffee and sugar, Diario de Centro America reported.

Valued at $1.51 billion, the Guatemalan apparel and textile industry accounted for 14 percent of all exports from the country in 2013, according to the Ministry of Economy. Official records show the United States is the main market for Guatemalan textiles. In 2013, roughly 79 percent of the country’s clothing and textile goods were exported to the U.S., followed by 14 percent to Central America.

According to data from the Office of the United States Trade Representative, knit apparel was the largest Guatemalan import category in 2013, accounting for $988 million worth of goods. Apparel preceded fruit and precious stones.

During the sourcing show, organized by Vestex and the Guatemalan Exporters’ Association (Agexport), Minister of Economy Sergio de la Torre said the event was part of the public and private strategies to make Guatemala a hub for apparel production in the Mesoamerica region, Diario de Centro America reported. The three-day showcase is the only apparel and textile trade fair in the CAFTA-DR region. More than 4,000 international buyers are expected to be in attendance to take part in the exhibition and workshops.