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CUENCA DIGESTMany bank charges set to drop July 1 under new rules

The cost of banking is about to get cheaper. Ecuador’s National Bank Board reported Thursday that 32 banks will lower their service costs by between 20% and 80% beginning July 1. "Bank customers will see charges reduced all over the country,” said Gloria Sabando, Superintendent of Banks. Sabando provided examples of new rates for a […]

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CUENCA DIGESTGovernment tightening firearms permit rules as police assume responsibility from the military

Ecuador’s armed forces last week began transferring responsibility for the permitting of firearms to the national police. In addition to the change of authority, the new system will establish an up-graded computerized database of gun ownership. Ecuadorian authorities, including President Rafael Correa, say that the current system makes it too easy for criminals to obtain weapons and […]

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Calle Larga bar scene is getting out of hand, city officials say; unlicensed businesses to be shut down

Calle Large is getting overloaded with bars and night clubs, according to Cuenca officials, and the government intends to do something about it. Many of the establishments in the area lack proper permits, officials say, and efforts are underway to shut down those operating illegally. According to municipal spokesperson Juan Estaban, Calle Larga and the […]

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Business closures by Ecuador’s IRS prove to be effective: tax revenues are up nationally and in Cuenca

Ever wondered about the story behind those large, adhesive “Clausurado” signs plastered on the doors of closed-down businesses?  Most of us know they’re the result of a business failing to pay taxes or violating other government regulations. Few of us know much more. The signs are the work of Ecuador’s Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and […]

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New York film festival documentary ‘Crude,’ examines oil drilling pollution in Ecuador’s Amazonia

Lessons in how the world works and portraits of the never-ending struggles in places around the globe where power is challenged by populist resistance: such matters are a concern of the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival, which this year celebrates its 20th anniversary. Rarely have such conflicts been examined with the depth and power […]

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CUENCA DIGESTStock up on the hooch! Sunday’s parliamentary election triggers weekend alcohol sales restriction

Sunday’s national parliamentary election means sales of alcoholic beverages, either in bars and restaurants or, in stores, are suspended from noon on Friday, June 12, until after polls close on Sunday, June 14. The idea behind the dry period, as defined in Article 140 of Ecuador’s election law, is that citizens will make better decisions […]

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WTO allows Ecuador import restrictions to stand, citing the country’s balance of payment problems

World Trade Organization members agreed on Thursday to allow Ecuador to impose temporary import restrictions because of balance of payments problems. The move was hailed by rich and developing countries as proof that the rules-based trading system umpired by the WTO was working well despite the economic crisis, and that WTO members could tackle the […]

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CUENCA DIGESTNew website provides economic data about Ecuador

If you’re considering starting a business in Cuenca, or anywhere else in Ecuador, and need an overview of the business climate, there’s a new website that can help. InfoEmpreses, www.supercias.gov.ec, a service of the office of Ecuador’s Superintendency of Companies provides information about corporate sales and assets and much more. The information is consolidated and does […]

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Labor unions take to the streets to protest new government policies; expect demonstrations to continue

If the political demonstrations in downtown Cuenca have disturbed your walking or driving routes in recent weeks, you  have President Rafeal Correa to thank. The administration has angered some of the countries largest labor unions, whose members are taking to the streets to protest. Although the demonstrations are peaceful, they have forced the police to […]

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Real estate construction and sales running at record pace in Cuenca; experts say they see no let-up

Through the first four months of 2009, real estate construction and sales continue to be a strong point of Cuenca’s economy. During that period, more than 250 building projects were permitted in the city’s central area and thousands of sales were recorded.  Xavier Sanchez, president of the Azuay Real Estate Brokers Association believes construction will […]

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Consul General will meet with U.S. citizens Friday at the Abraham Lincoln Center on Calle Borrero

U.S. citizens living in Ecuador are invited to an informal meeting with the U.S. Consul General, Friday, May 29, 11 a.m., at the Abraham Lincoln Culture Center, 5 – 18 Calle Borrero. Consul General Douglas Griffiths will present information about U.S. Embassy and Consulate services to U.S. citizens and to answer questions from the audience. […]

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