INTERNATIONAL NEWS: H&K sets up in Guatemala as private industry booms

GUATEMALA CITY: Hill & Knowlton has established a Central American presence, launching its first office in the region in Guatemala City.

GUATEMALA CITY: Hill & Knowlton has established a Central American presence, launching its first office in the region in Guatemala City.

GUATEMALA CITY: Hill & Knowlton has established a Central American

presence, launching its first office in the region in Guatemala

City.



Juan Mauricio Wurmser was named chairman and local partner of H&K

Guatemala and will oversee the five-strong office.



Since Guatemala resolved its 36-year civil war three years ago, foreign

businesses have started investing in the country’s rapidly privatizing

industry. This, according to Wurmser, is likely to result in plenty of

PR opportunities for firms in the region. ’Because companies who have

recently entered the country need to establish themselves right from the

start, there has to be a professionally managed communications strategy

for introducing them,’ he said.



In a statement on the office opening, H&K chairman and CEO Howard Paster

said that Guatemala is a natural entry point for the agency in Central

America. ’Guatemala’s national economy is diversifying, the process of

privatization is well underway and foreign investment is flowing into

the country,’ he wrote. ’The need for strategic communications is

growing dramatically.’



Government businesses undergoing privatization - especially those in the

energy and telecom sectors - have generated their share of interest from

foreign business concerns. In late July, Spanish telecommunications

company Telefonica Group said it will launch a subsidiary in Guatemala,

investing dollars 400 million to create 3,000 jobs over the next three

years.



H&K has expanded its Latin American operations over the past 16 months.



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