“Come invest in Ecuador” is the message that Ecuador Finance Minister Richard Martinez is taking to world capitals.
Richard Martinez meets with Chilean business leaders today in Santiago where he will explain Ecuador’s new “Prosperity Plan” in hopes of attracting foreign investment. Following his Chile visit, he flies to Washington, D.C. to deliver the same message in the U.S.
“What I’m telling them is that Ecuador has opened its doors to international investors,” Martinez says. “We have removed old barriers that discouraged investment in our country in the past and we are working hard to build confidence and credibility with world markets.”
He added that Ecuador’s recent agreement with the International Monetary Fund is a major step in “rejoining the world investment community.” The agreement will mean an infusion of $11 billion to bolster infrastructure and and provide technical and logistical support to investors.
According to finance ministry statistics, Ecuador receives less than 25 percent of the foreign investment that neighboring Peru and Colombia receives on a per capita basis. “We are out to change that,” Martinez said.
During his visits to Chile and the U.S. Martinez says he will provide specifics of the economic changes Ecuador has made and plans to make. One of the changes that has been publicly announced is the elimination of an exit tax on funds leaving Ecuador. The five percent fee will be eliminated over a four-year period.
Besides his trips to Chile and the U.S., Martinez says he is making plans to visit other world capitals in May and June.