The Business Year

Javier Salazar

ECUADOR - Economy

Javier Salazar

Country Managing Partner, EY Ecuador

Bio

Javier Salazar is a lawyer with a doctorate in jurisprudence, with more than 30 years of experience in big four and legal and tax advisory services. He has experience in a wide range of sectors such as automotive, oil and gas, energy and utilities, telecommunications, and litigation.

 

EY in Ecuador has become one of the preferred firms to advise new investors in all industries, especially in booming sectors like retail, mining, finance, and renewable energy.

How would you characterize the current situation in the country?

Ecuador and the whole world are emerging from the pandemic, and there is great enthusiasm and optimism to see that the objectives are being achieved. The government’s vision of growth, opening, trade, and strengthening ties with traditional markets such as the US and large markets such as Mexico is very beneficial for Ecuador. We already have a treaty with the EU that is going well for us. As EY Ecuador, we are proud to be one of the preferred firms to advise new investors in all industries, especially in retail, mining, finance, hydrocarbons, renewable energies sectors, to name a few.

How are you getting companies on board with this wave of digitalization, especially in those areas that EY has extensive experience with?

Promote digitalization is one of our clients’ challenges. The great thing is that everyone is convinced that digitalization is necessary to be more efficient, safer, more accurate, and faster. The point is to find the Achilles heel of an organization. Every entrepreneur should reflect on important questions such as: Why are we digitalizing, and what we would like to achieve? Our local survey, Tendencias Tecnológicas, gathers the opinion of over 170 local companies and their positions regarding digitization and IT strategic planning. Some companies say there will be a budget reduction due to the pandemic, while other CEOs think there will be greater investment. There are large companies in the country in retail, shipping, fishing, and industry, and we are supporting them to digitalize all their processes and make them safer. That is a positive thing, but the business community needs support to have a clear idea of why they are digitalizing. In many cases, it is related to sustainability and the entire production process, including traceability and how healthy a product can be when you establish the types of suppliers that qualify so that the products are certified for foreign markets.

How is EY supporting this process of unleashing Ecuador’s mining potential?

Our advantage is that we are a single office from Mexico to Bolivia, a fact that makes us a firm with one of the biggest networks with an extraordinary experience in the mining sector. We have been fully integrated for two years. In Ecuador, there are large deposits of copper and gold that are among the three best deposits in the world. Unlike Peru or Chile, the impact on Ecuador’s ecological system is delicate. That is why the government is interested in attracting multinational companies with quality processes in terms of exploitation and care for the environment with the latest technologies that can exploit these deposits. The largest mining companies are also in Ecuador.

What are EY’s prospects for 2022 and 2023?

As a firm, we have been in the country for 20 years. We are the largest firm in the country, and one of our last important investments is in our new offices and Innovation Center. Our new spaces are fully equipped with state-of-the-art technology dedicated to innovate within our client centric purpose. This is in line with our beliefs as part of the business community to bet on the country as well as with the objectives fixed by the current government. Our prospects are centered in support in best way to our local and international business community and we are excited to help develop and strengthen new entrepreneurs in Ecuador. There are great prospects with the Pacific free trade agreements. With the US, we recently signed an agreement that will boost free trade. In general, the Ecuadorian business community has great optimism.

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