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Archived updates for Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Guatemala Accedes to the PCT

Guatemala became the 133rd contracting state of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) when it deposited its instrument of accession at WIPO on July 14, 2006. The Treaty will enter into force for Guatemala on October 14, 2006.

According to the World Fact Book, Guatemala is the largest and most populous of the Central American countries with a GDP per capita roughly one-half that of Brazil, Argentina, and Chile. The agricultural sector accounts for about one-fourth of GDP, two-thirds of exports, and half of the labor force. Coffee, sugar, and bananas are the main products. The 1996 signing of peace accords, which ended 36 years of civil war, removed a major obstacle to foreign investment, but widespread political violence and corruption scandals continue to dampen investor confidence. The distribution of income remains highly unequal with perhaps 75% of the population below the poverty line. Other ongoing challenges include increasing government revenues, negotiating further assistance from international donors, upgrading both government and private financial operations, curtailing drug trafficking, and narrowing the trade deficit.
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