The year 2020 seemed eternal, something like the beginning of the third world war, the forest fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and volcanic eruptions. The expansion of the Coronavirus was the trigger for the largest health, political and economic crisis in the world.
Lockdown, restriction measures, suspension of classes, business closures, layoffs, economic and psychological instability were some of the devastating effects of the Coronavirus in the world. On March 9, 2020, “Black Monday” was the worst stock market crash since 2008. In October and November, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Colombia were hit by hurricanes ETA and IOTA, with losses of valuable lives, sharpening economic and social problems, such as unemployment, poverty, malnutrition, loss of housing and infrastructure. In 2020, all countries closed with negative percentages in the generation of Gross Domestic Product GDP, except for China, which grew its economy in 2.5%.
We sincerely hope that the year 2020 has taught us all over the world to be more human, supportive, empathetic, responsible, entrepreneurs, hard-working, creative, innovative and to work as a team. Today we see clearly the meaning of the saying "In Great Crises, there are the best Opportunities", many are the Latin American brothers and all over the world who undertook during that year, others prevented our companies from going bankrupt thanks to the search of new markets, diversification of products and services and Integral financial restructuring. Migrants' remittances, against all odds, increased in the region.
We have the Faith and Hope that the situation will improve, with the vaccines that will arrive little by little in our countries and that the economic panorama will be of positive growth, however, some sectors will take 2, 3, 5 or 10 years to recover, we must put our feet on the ground and understand that the world is not and will never be the same, we must reinforce the compliance with preventive health protocols and improve health systems. This is not the first crisis we have experienced in Guatemala and the world; therefore, we are certain that, with the efforts of each one of us, we will once again move forward. It is time to change the paradigm and focus our efforts on rescuing, redirecting and developing Guatemala, Central America and Latin America.
We must lay the bases for the Integral Development of our nations. The moment is key, the world geopolitical and geoeconomics events represent an enormous opportunity for the economic development of the region, with new leaderships in the political, academic, religious, business, labor, indigenous people, the media and all the spheres of society.
This year we will commemorate the Bicentennial of the Independence of Guatemala and the Central American Region, 2021 represents an excellent opportunity to strategically plan the next 100 years. With objectives, goals and action plan for the short, medium and long term to eradicate poverty and malnutrition. We must focus on attracting investment, creating jobs, opportunities, guaranteeing life, liberty, private property, legal certainty, rule of law, governance, fight against corruption, health and education, to move firmly towards the Guatemala, Central America and Latin America that we all long for with Integral Development. Let's do it. Blessings to you and your families.
Luis A. Velasquez Q.
Committed to Development