New Azuay prefect sets priorities; Promoters object to events tax; China trade agreement hikes exports, lowers consumer prices; City museums go high-tech

May 18, 2023 | 14 comments

Miércoles, 17/5/2023

Hola, Todos –

Cultura –

La tecnología incursiona en los museos de Cuenca (Technology makes inroads into Cuenca’s museums) – During the pandemic and with the irruption of technology and digitalization, the museums of Cuenca started rethinking their function. In the Museo Remigio Crespo Toral, there is a sound room where the public can hear recreations of the voices of Remigio Crespo, Honorato Vázquez, Julio Motovelle and Remigio Cordero y León. Creating interactive spaces by using technology is a way to attract new museum goers not accustomed to going to museums and to break the concept that museums are elite locations.

The Museo y Parque Arqueológico Pumapungo has a virtual tour featuring the walls of the AcllaHuasi which are in the high part of the Pumapungo. <And real estate companies in the US have virtual tours of their listings – culture and commerce.> You can see the tour by going to https://www.cyark.org/. A next phase will digitalize pieces in their archeological collections. In the Museo de las Conceptas, original paintings are shown with another image of how they would look after restoration. The image is created by an artificial intelligence application. <How soon before the digital image is the one displayed and the original one sits in storage?>

Prices for cell phones and other high-tech devices will drop as a result of Ecuador’s trade agreement with China. (El Mercurio)

Día de los Museos – El 18/5 is the International Day of Museums and those in Cuenca have prepared activities to celebrate.
Museo de Arte Moderno (Sucre y Coronel Talbot) – 17/5, 15:00 – Mediación lectora.
Museo Remigio Crespo Toral (Calle Larga y Borrero) – 18/5, 8-20:00 – Guided tours and projection of a video of ancestral sounds.
Museo de la Paja Toquilla (Rafael María Arízaga y Luis Cordero) – 18/5, 10-12:00 – An interactive walk/tour.
Planetario (Parque de La Madre) 18/5,17:00 – Showing of “The Martian.”
Museo de la Catedral Vieja (Sucre y Luis Cordero) – 18/5, 19:00 – Pasamanería Chorus.
Museo Pumapungo (Calle Larga y Huayna Cápac) 18/5, 8:00 – Open house, talks, theater.
Museo de las Conceptas (Hermano Miguel y Juan Jaramillo) – 18/5, 10:30-12:30 & 14:30 -16:30 <remember the nuns need to eat lunch, too> – Art workshops for kids.

Titular –

Lasso se defiende; 92 votos están en juego (Lasso defends himself; 92 votes are in play) – This article is already old news. See today’s (miércoles) article in CHL for the latest news.

De El Mercurio del martes, 16/5 (1 article):
Nuevo rumbo para las Prefectura con Lloret (New direction for the Prefecture with Lloret) – Juan Cristóbal Lloret took the office of Prefect of Azuay el lunes, and is part of the Revolución Ciudadana movement headed by ex-president Rafael Correa. He wants to construct a social and solidarity economic system that will be a model for regional development. The model will consider 5 aspects: the social and cultural; economic and productive; physical and environmental; infrastructure and services; and governability. He will also address roads. The province is responsible for 6,000 km. of roads of which 6% have asphalt, and only 16% are in good condition. <That leaves a lot of bad dirt roads out there waiting to tear out your suspension system.> He proposes to improve 900 km. of the productive road network in Azuay.

Empresarial –

Preocupación por cobro del IVA eventos públicos (Concern over VAT charge on public events) – The proposal to impose the IVA on public performances is being met with uncertainty, worry, and contrariness. The cultural sector was one of the industries most impacted by the pandemic and the Casa de la Cultura said a 12% increase in the cost will negatively affect the public, and lower sales investment in the cultural sector. A tax expert said that there is uncertainty since the definition of a public show is very wide and includes stadiums with thousands of spectators down to small venues such as theaters and circuses. Fabián Vallejo, owner of ‘Dfabis Producciones” said that if you add the 12% IVA to other taxes, the total approaches 45%.

He added that the SRI taxes the artists’ contract at 25% which winds up being paid by the promoter. Cesar Padilla who organizes sports events nationally said that Ecuador is a complicated country to organize events in. Artists go to Colombia and then skip to Perú. Ecuador is a tourist country, and performers such as Metálica and Bad Bunny should be welcome.

De El Mercurio del martes, 16/5 (1 article):
Celulares, cámaras y bicicletas sin aranceles (Tariff-free cell phones, cameras and bicycles) – The trade agreement between Ecuador and China provides immediate tariff relief for 4,677 subheadings of imported products so that cellphones, LED lamps, bicycles, and electric motos can enter the country without tariffs. There is a wide range of electronic equipment considered for elimination of tariffs as well as products for the industrial sector of Ecuador. The agreement excludes subheadings to protect Ecuador’s industries such as ceramics, major appliances, tires, and furniture.

Tariffs will not change for ‘high sensitivity’ products for Ecuador including industrial, textile, automotive, and metalmechanics. Low sensitivity products including preserved products such as fish; microwave ovens; hygiene and toiletries; jams and preserves; and fiber optic cables can be imported with 0 tariffs after a period of 5-10 years. Medium sensitivity products such as games, meat, suitcases, cars, plastic products and certain liquors can be imported duty free after a period of 15-20 years. <So does that mean mao tai and wu cha pi jiou (Chinese white lightnings) will be here by 2043?>

Ecuadorian exports that will receive immediate tax relief are tuna, platano, pitahaya, arándanos <I’m not sure if they mean cranberry or blueberries. Probably the latter or we’d have fresh cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving.>, and quinua. Exports with 0 duties in 5 years include cacao, roses, pineapple, and mango. Those to be duty free in 10 years include shrimp, banana, and preserved flowers. Current duties on Ecuadorian products range from 5-30%. <I’m hoping we won’t be competing for shrimp, roses, etc. with 1.5 billion Chinese in a few years.>

And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –

Jeanne

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