Ecuador and the UAE are increasing business cooperation as the Latin country seeks to increase foreign direct investment (FDI) in key industrial sectors, according to a senior official from Pro Ecuador during the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) 2014.
Speaking in a panel session at AIM, highlighting how to market Emerging and Frontier Markets for FDI, Carlos Lara Aguilar, Director of Investment, Pro Ecuador, examined the importance of marketing a country through successful promotional campaigns to attract FDI in various sectors. As business ties between the UAE and Ecuador continue to grow across a number of core sectors, Pro Ecuador is focusing on the petrochemical and logistics sectors this year.
Other key FDI sectors for Ecuador include metal works; forestry – resulting in manufactured products; tourism; fresh and processed food; renewable energy; biotechnology and applied software; and pharmaceuticals. These sectors aim to transform Ecuador’s output matrix towards a newly structured economy with an expected GDP growth rate of 4.5% to 5.0% this year.
“The government of Ecuador has been promoting a safe climate for foreign investment as a vibrant dollarized economy complemented with highly skilled workforce, strategic location, logistics hub and mega diverse environment. All these elements highlight the different potentials of Ecuador’s regions through successfully setting up various public investment projects. In 2013, Ecuador’s foreign direct investment (FDI), grew by 41.4% from 2012, reaching $476.7m (Dhs1.74bn),” said Aguilar. “The key developments that Ecuador is currently undergoing presents an opportunity for participation and investment from local companies in the UAE. Our Pro Ecuador office in Dubai will continue to facilitate business between the UAE and Ecuador,” he added.
As a testament to the country’s FDI efforts, Pro Ecuador was awarded second place in the category ‘Best FDI Project 2013 in South America’ during the AIM Investment Awards. The investment project was made by Holcim, a Swiss company, for the construction of a new product line of clinker, a component used in the manufacturing of cement, in Guayaquil in Ecuador. The $300m worth-project generated 2,500 jobs and $30m worth of annual imports.
“We are honoured to be recognised for our investment projects and we aim to continue to provide key projects that will generate foreign direct investment from the GCC region particularly in the UAE. With Ecuadorian government’s vision to diversify and develop new investment projects in emerging investment locations, local companies in the UAE are given a diverse opportunity to expand their businesses in South America,” said Hussam Hassan, Head of the Ecuadorian Commercial Office in Dubai.
AIM’s Silver Sponsor, Pro Ecuador’s booth showcased information on Ecuador investment opportunities and various ongoing projects in the country. The booth also highlighted Invest Manabi, headed by its CEO, Jorge Velez. Invest Manabi is the Investment Promotion Agency of the Province of Manabi, Ecuador, performing more than fifteen worldwide direct investment promotion missions for the province.
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