Ecuador offers great potential for UAE companies, investors: industry experts say

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Staff Report

Dubai – Ecuador offers huge potential for UAE companies and investors as new innovative technologies create new attractive business opportunities in the Latin American country, Ecuador’s Minister of Foreign Trade Pablo Campana and DP World’s Group Chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, said during a dialogue session at the Global Business Forum on Latin America 2018 in Dubai on February 27.

During the session, Bin Sulayem noted that DP World has been operating in Ecuador for the last 10 years and lauded the support of Ecuador’s government, adding that the company is now looking at new growth opportunities in the country.

Campana said that the UAE is the right partner for Ecuador and said there is great potential for further collaboration between the two countries in a number of sectors, including mining, hydorcarbons, water, renewable energy, and agriculture, adding that new technologies are bringing the business communities on both sides closer together.

Bin Sulayem and Campana discussed the construction of DP World’s multi-purpose deep-water port project at Posorja in Ecuador and the opportunities it presents for Latin American and UAE collaboration. Bin Sulayem highlighted the great opportunity and location that the port offers that will enable DP World to build a port centric project and logistics park combined in one.

Equipped with the latest technologies and equipment, the deep-water port will support mega vessels and create new job opportunities. Once the construction of the port is completed, the facility is expected to enable Ecuador to boost exports and strengthen its position as a hub for the Latin America region.

For his part, Campana said that the $1.2 billion port will be very strategic in terms of connecting countries and other the regions, while it will also help Ecuador diversify its exports, which are currently dominated by agricultural products.

Bin Sulayem highlighted the need to further develop and expand infrastructure in Ecuador to ensure that it can offer efficient cargo solutions for companies. In addition, technical infrastructure is required to make electronic transactions and document processing more efficient, he said, which will help companies become more profitable.

Campana spoke about the various synergies that Ecuador shares with the UAE, such as a strategic geographic location, and high levels of foreign direct investment in key sectors such as infrastructure, renewable energy, and education.

Campana also explained that starting in 2017, Ecuador made moves to open its economy and improve trade relations with many countries. The Latin American country adopted an Open Skies policy, focusing on industrialisation, working with the private sector, and improving infrastructure and logistical operations.

Bin Sulayem reaffirmed this point by saying that Ecuador was carefully selected as a target market by DP World because of the potential it presents and revealed that the company is already in talks with exporters and logistics companies, to develop explore potential that the new port will offer.

Bin Sulayem acknowledged that supply chain remained an area of challenge for Ecuador due to inefficiencies and fragmentation, but said that these obstacles could be overcome through public and private partnerships, and new innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain.
GBF Latin America 2018 is part of a series of Global Business Forums, organised by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry since 2013 to highlight new investment opportunities in a number of emerging and dynamic global markets, including Africa, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Latin America. -abdulbasit@theuaenews.com