Moreno promises new openness to business during Tuesday meeting in Guayaquil

Apr 12, 2017 | 11 comments

Saying he understands the difficulties faced by the Ecuador business community, President-elect Lenin Moreno said yesterday that he will form production and tax advisory councils to analyze how government policies affect the commercial sector.

Lenin Moreno meets with business leaders.

“I believe changes need to be made to make life easier for small and medium-sized businesses in Ecuador,” Moreno said. “We need to conduct a thorough review of tax and regulatory policies to find the places where changes are needed.”

The meeting, held in the Hotel Santa Ana in Guayaquil, was attended by 380 business owners and representatives. More than 500 police officers guarded the hotel fearing protests from supporters of defeated presidential candidate Guillermo Lasso, but there was no trouble.

“We need to make it easier for entrepreneurs to succeed in Ecuador since they are the ones who will create new jobs,” Moreno said. “We need to lay out a program that is friendly, not antagonistic, toward commerce.”

Moreno added that because his Alianza Pais will still holds a majority in the National Assembly, he feels confident he will be able to make necessary changes. “Because of our control of the government, we should be able to turn pro-business changes into law quickly and efficiently.”

Ecuadorian businesses also have a role to play in improving the commercial climate, Moreno said. “We need to see a higher degree of management sophistication, more efficient production and higher quality,” he said. “This is essential for competing in a global market.”

In response, Guayaquil businessman Pablo Campana told Moreno that the business community looks forward to a fresh relationship with the government. “With the election over, now we need confidence and reconciliation,” he said. “We need to know that the government is working in our interest and believe your (Moreno’s) approach will lead to success for all of us.”

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