His Excellency President Otto Pérez Molina,
His Excellency the Minister of Foreign Affairs,
The Honorable Minister of Education,
The Honorable Vice-Minister of Economy,
The Honorable Commissioner of PRONACOM,
Ambassador Robinson and distinguished members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Representatives of the Press,
Ladies and Gentlemen
I am delighted to be here together with Ambassador Robinson to celebrate a new chapter in the partnership between the people of the United States and the people of Guatemala.
Today, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, on behalf of the United States, is proud to sign a $28 million threshold program agreement.
This program invests in Guatemala’s greatest asset—its people. It supports policy and institutional reforms that will improve the quality of education in lower secondary to keep children from failing and dropping out of school. And it strengthens technical and vocational education to help provide Guatemalan youth—in all their diversity—with the competencies needed to succeed in the labor market.
Just as importantly, the program supports the Guatemalan government’s efforts to mobilize vital public resources to fund education and other essential public services.
In these ways, this agreement reflects a shared agenda for action.
It is a shared agenda to improve the quality of education. MCC will partner with the Ministry of Education to establish a teacher training program, support parents’ associations in their effort to improve school performance and develop technical degrees that respond to labor market demand.
It is also a shared agenda to mobilize the resources necessary to invest in the future. MCC will work with the government to implement reforms to improve the efficiency and transparency of the tax and customs administration. We will also strengthen the capacity of the Agency for Public-Private Partnerships to leverage private financing to improve Guatemala’s infrastructure.
And lastly, it is a shared agenda to reduce poverty and generate economic growth. This program is an important opportunity to demonstrate our joint commitment to economic freedom, investments in people and good governance. Ultimately, it is these values that will attract private investment, create jobs and provide a sustainable path to prosperity and security for the people of Guatemala.
So, with today’s signing, let us focus on the reforms and results needed to fulfill our shared agenda. MCC is deeply committed to our partnership with Guatemala. We think it is the right time to focus on these important areas. And, it is the right time to invest in the young people of this country and throughout this region. Muchas gracias!