Infrastructure and Energy two Potential Sectors in Guatemala: Mario López

The CEO of Grupo Onyx, Mario López Pérez, listed the opportunities and challenges for investment in Guatemala, during the second day of activities of the Forbes Forum in Spanish.

Watch the interview here

Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) could further boost investment in infrastructure in Guatemala, where the government already invests $750 million in infrastructure with its own capital, but where “Guatemala probably needs more investment and more speed,” Grupo Onyx’s CEO stated.

Mario López Pérez, son of Mario López Estrada —considered to be the transformer of the telephone industry in Guatemala—and who is now in charge of Onyx, said that PPPs “could be the way to give Guatemala’s economic growth an extra boost.”

It is a good time to think “what we need to have is economic growth of 7%, if we achieve it we would double the size of Guatemala’s economy,” Mario López stated.

During the second day of activities of the Forbes Business and Economy Forum in Spanish, the businessman considered that Public-Private Partnerships can pave the way to “make more roads and modernize the airport,” for example.


He added that some of the advantages that make Guatemala more attractive as a country are the low energy prices that have been achieved, due to a huge investment potential and the contracts in the electricity sector that have been awarded based on auctions, “which gives us a great competitive advantage,” as it translates into low prices.

He also referred to the telecommunications sector, where he said that “there is significant competition,” which allows people to decide with which company they should obtain service and change when they decide, “because 95% of the agreements are prepaid, there are no contracts that force them to remain with a single company.”

He stressed that “Guatemala’s main asset is its young population which are eager to work, learn and grow, and its enviable geographical location,” close to the United States during a trend of relocating production chains.

He also considered that “it is a great time to invest in Guatemala; we have economic growth and a stable exchange rate over the last 20 years, which gives certainty to invest in the long term.”

For Mario López Pérez, all businessmen are entrepreneurs, and at this time to start a business implies “not being afraid, going through, not losing curiosity, innovating all the time. The best way to create the future is to build it.”

Article first published in Forbes on October 19, 2022