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Investment promotion pays off for Ecuador's provinces


Investment in Ecuador has traditionally focused on exploitation of natural resources. National efforts to steer investment to new sectors have been largely unsuccessful—stymied by a general lack of understanding about its potential to spur growth and transform regional and national economies.

INVEC, the investment promotion agency for Azuay province, signs an agreement with USAID's Productive Network projectINVEC, the investment promotion agency for Azuay province, signs an agreement with USAID's Productive Network project

Starting in 2007, USAID’s Productive Network project (managed by CARANA) set out to change the country’s investment attraction capability. The project brought in internationally known speakers on the subject and organized training missions to successful investment agencies abroad. It also intensively trained and coached personnel at new investment promotion agencies (IPAs) that it created in collaboration with Ecuador’s regional governments in Quito, the capital, Manabí on the northern coast, and Azuay in the south. 

Three years later—and contrary to a national decline in investment—these three IPAs (INVEC, Invest Manabí and Invest in Quito) have jointly facilitated new investment deals worth $80 million in the industrial, agribusiness, technology and transportation sectors.  In addition, they have generated agribusiness sales and exports worth another $5.5 million. The national government was inspired by this experience to re-design its national IPA, and rename it Invest Ecuador. 

To ensure the sustainability of this investment system, Productive Network provided technical assistance to the Coordinating Ministry of Production, Employment and Competitiveness (MCPEC) on a strategy to assume these regional IPAs as “franchises” under the nationwide umbrella of Invest Ecuador.  As Productive Network phases out its financial support for the regional IPAs, Invest Ecuador will assume the costs of training, capacity building, investment promotion and communications for this network, ensuring long-term foreign direct investment.

Read an earlier story about Invest Manabí landing an optical fiber network.

Published July 2011