Ecuador is ranked 82 out of 124 countries in the Economic Complexity Index ranking of 2017.
The Economic Complexity Index is calculated by means of two variables: diversity (which measures the variety of products that a country produces) and ubiquity (which quantifies the degree of specialization for the production of a good).
The ranking of last year, which was developed with information from 2011 to 2016, is led by three countries: Switzerland, Japan and Singapore.
In Latin America, Panama (24), Mexico (25), Brazil (44), Colombia (45) and Costa Rica (47) stand out.
In the previous ranking, for the period 2006-2010, Ecuador was ranked 90. When analyzing the results in the Economic Complexity Index, Daniel Legarda, president of the Ecuadorian Federation of Exporters (Fedexpor), notes that in the past there were attempts to modify the productive structure “with a central planning and fundamental actor state, which chose productive sectors”.
That, he explained, wasted time because they tried to take very large and risky jumps for an economy like the Ecuadorian.
Legarda believes that to achieve greater added value in exports requires a change in production strategy in the country.
For Nelson Baldeón, spokesman for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in Ecuador, in a highly competitive and technology-based global economy, the added value of exports must be evaluated.
“In the country we continue making the same products and to” innovate “we make a different presentation. That’s not enough”. Is there any example of progress in the country? Baldeón believes that the company Terrafertil, with its dehydrated fruits, is a successful case.
Founded in 2005, it started operations as an exporter of dried fruit. By 2009 it continued with its growth and presented the brand Nature’s Heart. Its added value lies in its production chain, which includes sowing, harvesting, drying, and selection of dehydrated fruits, packaging and distribution.
The penultimate step stands out because it allows its products to reach consumers, inside and outside the country, ready to be consumed. This aroused the interest of Nestlé, which in February acquired a majority stake. The weekly Leaders publishes a report on this topic. (I)