The International Trade Hub at Port Manatee is making inroads to enhance the trade relationship between Guatemalan companies and the port.
“This hub you have here in Port Manatee is very advanced,” said Dunia Miranda-Mauri, a Guatemalan trade commissioner who visited Port Manatee and presented to the Manatee County Port Authority on Thursday. “And hopefully some Guatemalan companies will have offices there.”
The port is already an important partner for Guatemalan exports and imports, Miranda-Mauri noted. Guatemala has a trade office in Miami, where Miranda-Mauri is based.
Guatemala is one of Port Manatee’s top five trade partners, according to Miranda-Mauri, and exports bananas, pineapples, melons and plantains into the port. Imports to Guatemala from the Central Florida Gulf Coast port are led by Kraft linerboard, vehicles, auto parts and lubricating oils.
Miranda-Mauri mentioned several industries suitable for expansion in her presentation, including forestry, food and beverage, and chemicals and plastics.
“Not only do we anticipate building on the volumes of northbound produce and southbound linerboard and vehicles,” Manatee County Port Authority Chair Vanessa Baugh said in a press release. “But we foresee the addition of other commodities as well.”
Miranda-Mauri’s visit is one of several in-person visits from internationally based trade commissioners coordinated by the International Trade Hub. In April, the port hosted ProColombia agribusiness director Juan Camilo Barrera.
The International Trade Hub at Port Manatee, founded three years ago, provides advice and support to businesses that seek to build a presence in Manatee County. The hub can assist companies with production and distribution, according to the International Trade Hub at Port Manatee website.
“We are encouraged by the interest shown by the Guatemalan representative and share in a commitment to working together to strengthen our mutually valued ties,” Port Manatee Executive Director Carlos Buqueras said in a statement.