Magazine article International Trade Forum

Boosting Trade through Extended Outreach

Magazine article International Trade Forum

Boosting Trade through Extended Outreach

Article excerpt

Ecuador, like many countries in Latin America, has revisited the idea of development. It is forging its own path towards a more sustainable and inclusive society focused on a better quality of life for its citizens.

This is the vision of the National Plan of Ecuador 2013-2017, entitled 'Good living--a better world for everyone'. The plan serves as the guiding framework for the Ministry of International Trade, which is headed by Francisco Rivadeneira.

According to Mr. Rivadeneira, 'Good Living' is the style of life that enables happiness and the permanence of cultural and environmental diversity. It is harmony, equality, equity and solidarity. It is not the quest for opulence or infinite economic growth.'

All national policies are focused in the direction of the National Plan, with international trade acting as an important mechanism to meet programme objectives.

Under Rivadeneira, the ministry has carried out reforms to strengthen the structure of the Institute for the Promotion of Exports and Investments of Ecuador (ProEcuador) This has led to a significant increase in the number of business offices outside the country, such as Peru, Turkey, Japan, Russia and Germany. This has allowed ProEcuador to enter new markets while consolidating traditional export activities and seek greater product differentiation through added value.

'We currently have more than 30 sales offices in all major markets where we are currently exporting or where there is export potential,' Mr. Rivadeneira says. Our goal is to promote the country--as well as its products and services--directly to buyers and intermediaries and especially to consumers.'

Prior to implementing the National Plan, a specific problem for Ecuador's foreign trade involved the limited number of products exported and the number of markets where those exports were available.

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One solution was to deemphasize traditional markets such as Europe and North America and increase exports to markets including Central America, the Mercosur region, Asia, Canada and Africa.

'In the Middle East we have been successful in developing a strong presence in the Gulf countries, particularly the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. We are also increasing exports to Chinese, Japanese and South Korean markets,' Mr. Rivadeneira says.

PROMOTING ECUADORIAN SERVICES

An important next step in the strategy is to promote Ecuadorian services worldwide. As one of the largest global providers of high-quality agro products, Ecuador has historically dedicated considerable effort to promoting its primary products and raw materials. This has come at the expense of neglecting the promotion of services in which this country has extensive strength and expertise. …

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