Chile, Colombia and Peru lead the region. The regulations and the business climate for the investment improved the location of Ecuador in the index. The Infrascopio 2019 report conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit and financed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), highlights Ecuador’s performance in promoting public-private partnerships (PPP).
Ecuador is ranked 12 out of 21 countries with a score of 63 points out of 100. This result means that the country climbed six places and 19 points compared to the evaluation of 2017. The study classifies the countries within the categories of Maduro , Developed, Emerging and Rising.
Two years ago, Ecuador was in the Emerging group, but now it went up to Desarrollado. The ratings are given under five axes: regulations, institutions, maturity, investment climate and financing. The countries that lead the Infrascope are: Chile, Colombia and Peru, with improvements in their general scores, but with losses in some categories.
Venezuela occupies the last place in the ranking with eight points. Since 2015, Ecuador has worked to improve its investment climate, so it obtained scores on the regional average. In 2017, the Government committed to give greater political support to private investment and to PPPs to develop large infrastructure projects, the publication highlights.
According to data from Private Participation in Infrastructure of the World Bank, in the last five years, five projects in the country have reached financial closure: four energy projects with an investment of $ 360 million and a road project for $ 665 million.
The report highlights the increase in private investment in the energy sector, especially in renewable energy projects, such as hydroelectric power plants that have reached investments of over $ 500 million. Other works of importance have been the awarding of three port projects: Posorja, Bolívar and Manta.
In addition, the new infrastructure, energy and tourism plans are estimated at $ 961,500 million. The Infrascope recommends that Ecuador have a national agency, with the necessary resources and sufficient legal security, to promote PPPs in order to attract greater international interest.
The strengthening of these alliances is also supported from the public and private sectors. Soledad Álvarez, general undersecretary of Science, Technology and Innovation, also believes that the academy can be a contributor.
“The knowledge that is produced in universities or institutes can be used by companies for the development of products”. In the framework of the innovation table on the Competitiveness, Employment and Innovation axis, Roberto Passailaigue, rector of the University of Guayaquil, said that Ecuador “does not invest even 0.4% in innovation, which has to be strengthened”.
He indicated that States should not forget that private enterprise is the engine of the economy. “The promotion of PPPs is necessary, since it is the mutual contribution”. Luis Alberto Salvador, vice president of the Chamber of Industries of Guayaquil, said that today there is an open and fluid dialogue between the private sector and the public.
He believes that in the construction of public policy it is necessary to take into account the productive sector, since it is the one that lives the positive or negative effects of it. (I)