During his Saturday television broadcast, President Rafael Correa praised the Puerto Bolivar project in Machala as an economic model that will validate what he calls 21st century socialism.
“The mistake of the old socialism, is that governments wanted to control the entire economy,” he said. “This did not work and socialism failed. To be successful, private partners must be included in the economic mix. The project to expand Puerto Bolivar is an example of this,” he added.
Under an agreement signed two weeks ago with the government, Turkish port operator Yilport committed to invest up to $2.5 billion during a 50-year concession to upgrade and enlarge Puerto Bolivar, 70 miles southwest of Cuenca. The work includes dredging and port expansion to make Bolivar one of the largest container ports in Latin America.
“The modernization of Puerto Bolivar will cost the government zero dollars,” said Correa. “The port is of fundamental importance to the economy of Ecuador. It will serve the interests of Yilport as well as expand our ability to export bananas, shrimp and other national products.”