The prospects for the development of trade relations between Italy and Guatemala are extremely optimistic. The entry into force of the Association Agreement removed the heavy customs burden and facilitated customs procedures for Italian exports to Guatemala. In addition, the consolidation of the activities of the Italian Chamber of Commerce has yielded excellent results by improving knowledge of the benefits of the agreement. Like its European counterparts, Italy mainly exports machinery and equipment, chemicals, basic pharmaceuticals and pharmaceutical preparations to Guatemala. The Italian case shows that, despite increasing global competition, Italy has been able to take advantage of the benefits of the Association Agreement, which has also increased its exports to Guatemala in more traditional sectors such as textiles, clothing and agri-food products. The last meeting of the Association Committee and Subcommittees was held in Antigua, Guatemala, from June 18 to 27, 2019. The first meeting of the Trade and Sustainable Development Council of the Association Agreement between Central America and the European Union was held in Managua, Nicaragua, from 18 to 19 November 2014. On 18 June 2019, senior officials from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama met annually in Antigua Guatemala with representatives of the European Union (EU) to discuss issues and best practices regarding the implementation of their association agreement. The agreement signed in 2012 aimed to strengthen economic and political cooperation between the EU and Central America (CA) beyond the simple unilateral preferential access granted to Central America under the EU`s system of generalised preferences. This is a difficult task for the EU, which, despite historical links, maintains a low presence in the CSA; a presence reduced by the omnipresence of the United States, but also by established China. The last pillar of the agreement concerns trade, a very broad discipline whose essential elements are: according to the date of EUROSTAT, the trade flow between the EU and Central America amounted to 12 billion euros in 2019. The EU`s trade balance with Central America has a surplus of 0.4 billion euros in 2019 (a surplus of 0.1 billion euros the previous year).
On 6 April 2009, the EU issued a statement informing of the temporary halt in negotiations for an association agreement between the EU and Central America. A few days later, on 24 April 2009, the EU and Central America agreed to resume negotiations for an agreement. The basic logic is clear. As soon as the United States signed NAFTA, the EU followed suit and concluded its own bilateral trade agreement with Mexico. Now that the United States has signed the CAFTA ACCORD, an EU agreement is being reached for the same countries (minus the Dominican Republic, which is part of the ACP group with which the EU is already negotiating an EPA under the Cotonou agreement). The Committee on Trade and Sustainable Development will meet in the first year following the entry into force of the agreement and, if necessary, will oversee the implementation of Title VIII (Trade and Sustainable Development), including cooperation activities conducted in accordance with Title VI (Economic and Trade Development) of Part III of the agreement. The committee`s decisions and recommendations are adopted by mutual agreement between the parties and made available to the public, unless the committee decides otherwise.