The vendors have generated new distribution channels for the products. Entrepreneurs ask for long-term international agreements. Trade will grow this year in the order of 7% compared to 2016, considered “a bad year”. This was announced by Juan Carlos Díaz-Granados, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce of Guayaquil (CCG).
Last year the sector billed $ 61,219 million and is now projected to reach $ 65,864 million. The reasons for this behavior, according to the Chamber, is that they are in greater productivity on the part of the merchants, who have generated new distribution channels for their merchandise. According to the Central Bank of Ecuador the country’s economy will grow 1.5% in 2017 and 2% in 2018. The authorities say it is the product of economic recovery, but the representative of the CCG considers it a figure “Mediocre”, because it ensures that it must grow much beyond that.
On the General System of Preferences with the United States (which according to the Minister of Foreign Trade, Pablo Campana, will be renewed at the beginning of 2018), Díaz-Granados indicated that long-term measures are needed to help establish a stable generation environment business. “How an industry that has long-term projections can invest in a country if they do not know if they will renew tariff preferences every three years,” he said. In his opinion, Ecuador is at a disadvantage compared to Colombia, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Bolivia. “We are not a foreign investment attraction.”
The Chamber insists on the need to have long-term trade agreements such as the one signed with the European Union, where exports grew by 40%. With this, Iván Ontaneda, president of the Ecuadorian Federation of Exporters (Fedexpor), who qualifies the sector as the main support of dollarization, agrees. He noted that the longer the renewal of tariff preferences takes place, the more than $ 400 million that are obtained from exports to the US are at risk.
As a positive thing, Díaz-Granados highlighted the elimination of safeguards (in June of this year) and the two-point reduction of the value-added tax making Ecuadorians more affluent. However, he reiterated the request to repeal the advance payment of income tax, foreign exchange tax, among others. (I)