Strategic Geographic Location
Ecuador is located in the north east of South America on the Pacific coast. Its strategic position allows it to have direct access to all Latin-American countries, East Asia and to the west coast of the United States. Its proximity to the Panama Canal permits safe access to Europe, the east coast of the United States, the Middle East and the rest of Asia.
A larger bulk of trade takes advantage of ocean routes. Every year, there are over 2.500 vessels that leave from Ecuadorian ports. Nevertheless, an important fraction of foreign trade takes advantage of air connections, principally through the Quito International Airport.
Favourable Weather Conditions
Nature has been generous to Ecuador. Its climatic conditions facilitate the harvesting of agricultural products throughout the year. It has stable weather conditions with clearly defined rainy and dry seasons. A permanent luminosity enhances the cultivation of all types of fruits, vegetables, flowers and aquaculture products (prawn, tilapia, lobster and others) which have a high demand in the international market and which can also be processed in the country.
In 2011, the Ecuadorian economy was among those in Latin America with best economic performance with growth of 8% and single digit inflation rate.
The legal currency is the dollar of the United States of America, which provides confidence and security to investors, since there is no risk of devaluation.
Access to Markets
Ecuador is a part of the Andean Community and has preferential access for its products to the markets of Colombia, Venezuela, Peru and Bolivia. Thanks to an economic complementation agreement with Mercosur countries, Ecuador is in a position of exporting close to 4,000 products free of tariffs to Brazil and Argentina. The existence of the ATPDEA allows tariff-free entry of over 6,000 products to what constitutes Ecuador´s main market, the United States of America. GSP Plus on the other hand allows great tariff-free access to Ecuadorian goods to the European Union.
- Ecuador has a modern infrastructure and road communications system. It is currently developing the project for the construction of interoceanic highway corridor Manta (Ecuador) – Manaus (Brazil) to allow a direct route between the Atlantic and Pacific.
- It has four state commercial ports: Guayaquil, Manta, Esmeraldas and Bolivar. It also has 17 private ports under construction and another one in Posorja (Guayaquil).
- It has two international airports: one in Quito and one in Guayaquil. The latter has been rated the best in Latin America. A new modern airport will come into operation in Quito in October 2012.
- Ecuador has sophisticated access to telecommunication services, being connected to the fiber optic network that runs the Telefonica International Wholesale Services, creating opportunities for technological innovation and development of products with higher added value.
Dynamic Work Force
The economy has a skilled workforce, with renowned craftsmanship abilities and unique know-how in the management of different production processes. When compared to its principal competitors, salaries in Ecuador are competitive.
The National Government supports the private productive investment that promotes innovation, job quality and selective substitution of imports. It has to comply with four basic conditions: ethics towards employees, ethics towards the consumer, ethics towards the environment and tax ethics.
There are several tools that support entrepreneurship and productive investments in Ecuador such as Support Funds, Specific Incentives, Investment Projects Promotion, among others.
Legal Incentives – The Production Code
The legal framework, the Production Code, has five types of incentives for investment: general, sector specific to innovation, export and green production, to improve production of SMEs, and for territorial development.