ECUADOR - Economy
Executive Director, Pro Ecuador
Víctor Jurado Carriel is an economist with a specialization in finances and business management. He studied business administration and has over 10 years of professional experience in management of industrial and agro-exporter companies and as a professor. He is a specialist in Business Intelligence, and the founder of this division in the Institute. He is currently the Executive Director of Pro Ecuador.
Our strategic plan in 2015 has two main lines of attention: attracting investment and exporting services. The first area focuses on attracting investment into the main productive sector, including the forestry sector. We have already developed several activities to attract investment such as business symposiums and roundtables. There are other sectors besides forestry on which we focus our efforts such as metalworking, and ICT. Our efforts go into building bridges between foreign and local companies, for which our 30 branch offices in 25 different countries are essential. In order to foster a friendly business environment in the country, our work, following the governmental policy, is centered on promoting the benefits of Ecuador in terms of facilities and infrastructure, as well as showcasing its international recognitions as an investment recipient. The government has invested significantly in infrastructure, optical fiber, and related services, which have lifted Ecuador into an upper level.
Last year, around of $31 million of greenfield investment was brought into the country. An investment of $283 million is expected this year. These investments have all been a direct result of Pro Ecuador’s work in sectors such as agribusiness, auto parts and plastics, among others
We need to change the mindset of many companies and make them realize what is needed in order to grow. There are plenty of opportunities abroad for Ecuadorian companies, which might not be fully developed currently, but if they received the correct support, they could change the history of the Ecuadorian commerce. Boosting Ecuadorian exports of products and services with technology and added value will also help to diversify the economy, generating further employment. In this regard, our main results of successful business opportunities have been seen through B2B events.
Over the last year, we have also channeled great attention into services exports. We have high hopes for the education sector, for example. Education is one of the sectors set to drive the change in the production matrix. To this end, the government has taken important steps such as creating the City of Knowledge to encourage the role of education and science in the national economy. Another winner is health and medical service; Ecuadorian doctors have an excellent reputation and international patients are aware of the relatively low costs of medical services in Ecuador.
Our main challenges concern investment, without which, we will struggle to establish a knowledge-based economy. Competitiveness is another challenge facing the country. Finally, we face the challenge of ensuring sufficient qualified human resources; the government has already taken key steps in this context with scholarship programs and attracting pre-retirement academic experts to teach at Ecuadorian universities. However, we cannot rest on our laurels. In terms of the development of lined up investments, I am optimistic, while the roundtables we have organized have yielded positive results, as has public sector investment in areas such as infrastructure. This allows me to believe that we are about to harvest what was previously sown.
ECUADOR - Energy & Mining
General Manager, Electric Corporation of Ecuador (CELEC EP)