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AMERICAS


Q A


How do you plan to improve Ecuador’s investment and business climate?


Over the past 15 years, Ecuador’s annual foreign direct investment (FDI) did not


exceed 2% of GDP. These low numbers are a result of applying a capital exit tax since 2008 and a high emerging market bond index spread, which averaged 2395 basis points in 2020. In this regard, Ecuador will offer legal secu-


rity for its current and future investments to regain credibility in international markets. Additionally, we will promote public–private partnerships (PPPs). To this end, we will reform the PPP regulations to reduce the paperwork involved in the approval of projects and facili- tate the arrival of private investment in the country. In tax matters, new investors will not pay income tax for the next 30 years, and we will remove the 5% capital exit tax progres- sively during the four years of government.


Q A


Which sectors do you believe have the most promising opportunities for FDI in


Ecuador?


Ecuador is a rich country — culturally, nat- urally, and historically. Every economic sec-


tor has the potential for prosperity. Since the beginning of our presidential race, we stated that we would double the oil production in the country, and the mining sector has plenty of potential—it could generatemore than $860m by 2024. We are aware of the environmental concerns that the increased activity of these sectors implies; still, we want to assure the Ecuadorian people and the international com- munity that we will comply with the highest international environmental standards and certifications, compensations in case of envi- ronmental violations, and the usage of advanced technologies to reduce the environ- mental impact. The tourism sector has many promising


opportunities since more people are getting vaccinated around the world, and here in the country, international and national travel are gaining strength again. More dollars will get into the economy and kickstart any businesses related to the sector, directly and indirectly. Also, we’ve seen the importance of the agricul- tural industry during the pandemic and throughout our history. This sector generates many jobs, and we are committed to improving the conditions of the industry and its workers, its productivity and access to new technologies. However, our administration is very confi-


dent in all sectors that comprise our economy. Our government will leave behind no economic or social sector; we will guarantee legal cer- tainty for national and foreign investment, and the proper conditions with less paperwork and fewer taxes.


Q


How will you balance FDI attraction into Ecuador’s extractive sectors with greater


environmental safeguards? June/July 2021 www.fDiIntelligence.com


zonesandthe decisions of the locals.Operations in the extractive sector will have tocomply with the highest international environmental stand- ards and certifications. In addition, our admin- istration will promote the use of modern tech- nologies to minimise environmental impact. We will also establish the obligation to


A


repair andcompensate for diminishing ecologi- cal quality standards, emissions, prevention or decontamination plans. Our government will rigorously assess and monitor such operations on an ongoing basis.


We will work hard to eradicate hunger in our country,improve public health services and ful- fil the promise of free education at any level for everyone. Our government will not tolerate vio- lence of any sort against anybody, and we will act severely to punish thosewhoperpetrate acts that are against human rights and our law. We are a country of law and order, and our


Q A


government will respect the rule of law.Wewill enforce national and international agreements to improve the living standards of our people. As I stated before, we will guarantee legal cer- tainty for national and foreign investment, and the proper conditions with less paperwork and fewer taxes.■


Guillermo Lasso took office as Ecuador’s 47th president on May 24, 2021. He is the country’s first centre-right politician in nearly two decades.


61 Any closing thoughts?


Weare an administrationthat’scommitted to improving the wellbeing of our people.


We will establish a clear legal framework for investors, and respect the intangible


CURRICULUMVITAE GUILLERMO LASSO


2021 Ecuador President


Previously Guayas Province, governor


REGIONS


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