The Business Year

Pablo Zambrano Albuja

ECUADOR - Industry

Pablo Zambrano Albuja

Executive President, Chamber of Industry and Production (CIP)

Bio

A lawyer with a doctorate in jurisprudence from the Pontifical University of Ecuador, Pablo Zambrano Albuja also has a master’s in law from Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar. He is also a doctoral candidate in constitutional law at the University of Buenos Aires. He has attended specialized courses in business administration at the International Labor Organization and in organizational leadership at the INCAE Business School. In 2014, he was made executive vice president of CIP, prior to which he was CIP’s legal director. In 2018, he was made Executive President. He has also been a professor at various universities across the country for two decades.

Celebrating its 85th year, the Chamber of Industry and Production is helping members become more sustainable and embrace digital transformation to remain relevant.

How has the chamber evolved in its 85 years of history to tackle the 4th Industrial Revolution?

We are working hard in two fields: competitiveness and productivity. We are now starting a program especially with big companies to share the knowledge in these two fields with small and medium businesses. We are promoting the use of technology, because if companies are not aware of the importance of using technology, they will not be able to survive in the next 20 years. Currently, we are establishing a program with the communication companies that are providing internet services, cloud services, and all the electronic tools that we need right now. For example, the dairy industry is using databases and traceability to track where the milk is coming from, where the farm is located, what the cows are eating, and so on; basically, you can trace the entire production chain. Additionally, we are also thinking a lot about sustainability.

What strategic alliances has the chamber developed to strengthen the Ecuador 2030 Initiative?

We are promoting with our affiliates the use of sustainable production and the concept of sustainability. We will celebrate our 85th anniversary, and in October we held a special event with the UN Development Program and the Inter-American Development Bank, who are promoting and financing sustainability programs. We want to share the best practices of the oil, mining, food and beverage, and forestry industries. We want to show that we can produce without causing harm to the environment and lowering our impact on the environment. There are many sectors in which companies can invest in and grow and become successful. For example, agribusiness is the top industry. Ecuador has increased the export of shrimp, banana, cocoa, fresh cut flowers, and fisheries. Besides oil, mining and other industries also have great potential in Ecuador. President Lasso recently announced that he wants to double oil production in Ecuador, so this is positive news for investors. Ecuador has to take advantage of its oil reserves, because in 10 years or so carbon and oil will no longer be accepted by society. Additionally, the commercial policy in Ecuador has to be active and smart and promote markets for Ecuadorian producers. Right now, we are in the middle of a negotiation with Mexico that is interesting because it is a big market. After that negotiation, Ecuador could be a member of the Pacific Alliance. We are also in the middle of negotiations with the US, another interesting market. We need to focus on markets that will increase our exports.

Given that you were reelected as President of the Chamber of Industry and Production, what is your vision for this term?

From a manufacturer perspective, we have high expectations of the new government, specifically in terms of what we want to do. We want to increase our share in the GDP. Right now, the industry amounts to 13%. There is a great deal of work that we can do, so it is important to have a clear policy from the government to work on competitiveness. In 2021, we published a study called Sustainable Enterprises that we carried out with International Labor Organization. There are 17 pillars that we studied, such as economics, rule of law, labor law, and commercial issues. This study is a roadmap for competitiveness in Ecuador. In the case of Quito, there are many problems, the first of which is unemployment. Another issue is the administrative vision of the city, and we have at least 20 public companies. From our perspective, this model should be changed, and we should use PPPs. It will take two to three years to recover the solid numbers of the city. In addition, Quito provides 25% of the GDP of Ecuador, so it is really important that the city has a vision for the future.

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