Noboa names U.S.-trained finance minister to spearhead tax reforms and improve collections

Nov 29, 2023 | 0 comments

President Daniel Noboa on Monday appointed Juan Carlos Vega as Minister of Economy and Finance, four days after taking office for a short 18-month administration.

Juan Carlos Vega

The new minister is an economist who holds graduate degrees from two universities in the United States. In addition to working as a consultant to Ecuadorian agribusinesses, he has devoted much of his time working with non-profit organizations to help small farmers.

Vega assumes the leadership of a state portfolio that will face crucial challenges, such as the economic crisis facing the country, a large fiscal deficit and the need to obtain external financing, since the public debt is 75.23 billion U.S. dollars as of August, equivalent to 59 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).

“I accept the job understanding we face one of the greatest financial crises in our country’s history,” Vega said. “One of my jobs is to conduct a thorough review of the national finance system and to find solutions to problems that have been ignored for too long.”

Vega will lead the tax reform proposal that Noboa sent to the National Assembly on Tuesday aimed at creating incentives for companies and reducing taxes on construction to generate employment, which was a campaign promise. He will also lead the effort to improve tax collections, which he claims “leaves billions of dollars uncollected.”

Noboa was elected to fill the term of his predecessor, Guillermo Lasso, who dissolved the National Assembly in May and called for early elections amid a political crisis.

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