Aquaculture is the sector of the fastest growing economy between January and March 2018, compared to the same period of 2017.
This activity registered a development of 16.7%, mainly thanks to the production of shrimp, due to the use of technology-intensive systems and the export of this product so desired in international markets.
According to the latest report of the Central Bank of Ecuador shrimp exports reached 112,000 tons, representing a year-on-year increase of 20.3%. The second economic activity that makes significant contributions to the Gross Value Added (GVA) is that of accommodation and services, with an increase of 7.5%.
This positive result is attributed to the 46.8% increase in the income of foreigners to the country. Holbach Muñetón, president of the National Federation of Tourism Chambers, said that although the figures speak of growth in the sector, this impact cannot be felt in those who offer accommodation or services.
In this regard, he said he was worried about the presence of applications such as Airbnb to get accommodation, which allow leasing per day or season, without paying taxes and without any kind of control, damaging hotels and hostels that pay taxes to the State.
He noted that the State should strengthen tourism promotion to be competitive with neighboring countries, which have much cheaper offers, to attract foreign and Ecuadorian visitors. Sara Moyano, president of the Chamber of Tourism of Atacames, acknowledged that during the New Year (January) and Carnival (February) holidays in 2018, the province of Esmeraldas -specifically the spas- received a large influx of tourists, complying with the expectations of hotels and service providers; nevertheless, the acts of violence that occurred on the border with Colombia stopped the reactivation.
“We hope that after the state of emergency was lifted in San Lorenzo we can receive tourists again, especially from the Sierra, due to the holiday season that starts,” the tourism official explained.
With an increase of 6.9%, the supply of electricity and water is located in the third sector with the highest growth during this first quarter, thanks to the increase in the production of the Hidropaute Hydroelectric Plant, which represents approximately 37% of the total of water production.
Additionally, there was a growth in thermal generation of 11.8% in the same period. Another of the productive activities that registered an important growth was the commerce, with 5,5% with respect to 2017.
Patricio Alarcón, president of the Business Committee, expressed that one of the main factors for this result is to have disassembled the safeguards in the middle of 2017 and maintain the liquidity of the country via indebtedness.
However, he considers that the challenge now is to maintain this growth and “for this the Government must reduce taxes and tariffs”. The analyst Pablo Dávalos explained that this growth is translated into the conduct of economic policy during the first months of the Government, which consisted of financing consumption through debt.
Despite this, indicated that with the draft Law on Productive Development, the regime “abruptly changes the economic policy and instead of walking to reactivation, it goes towards economic readjustment, which implies punishing demand, consumption, which can lead to a contraction.” Faced with this, the expert warns that the year can be closed with very little or no growth. (I)