Francisco Rivadeneira, Minister of
International Trade, Ecuador
Mr. Rivadeneira underscored that Chicago business and governmental leaders should view Ecuador as an increasingly attractive country with which to develop strategic business partnerships. “We believe that Chicago and Illinois are going to be very instrumental in Ecuador’s economic growth. The region is a gateway to the Midwestern and Canadian marketplaces and a central hub for international transport of goods to faraway global markets,” he said. The sister airport agreement, for example, would facilitate direct passenger and cargo flights between the two cities and create opportunities for the respective countries to promote tourism and business development.
Of central importance is the new Chicago Perishable Center at O’Hare airport, a private entity which is now in its operational planning stages and will open in 2014. The Center will enable direct flights of perishable goods to and from O’Hare; goods will arrive fresher and more accessible to Midwestern and Canadian markets. “We are working to solidify agreements with passenger and cargo airlines so they will fly directly between Quito and Chicago O’Hare,” said Rivadeneira. “We also are going to urge TAME, the national airline of Ecuador, to begin passenger flights to and from O’Hare. These flights will increase tourism and commercial activity between the two countries. We are in discussion with American carriers as well.”
Ecuador's International Trade Minister Francisco Rivadeneira
holds meetings with Chicago political and business
leaders October 9.
“We are a resource-rich country and we’re just now beginning to develop them in a sustainable way,” he said. “We’re using American equipment to do the job, and we will need much more of it.” For American companies and startups, several advantages to setting up shop in Quito were noted: a skilled technical labor force, the low cost of living, same time zone and currency, tax incentives, etc.
|Bill Moller interviews Francisco Rivadeneira on First Business|
Another key initiative is the “City of Knowledge” near Quito, a large national program to bring together technologists, engineers, scientists and entrepreneurs to be used as a cluster for business development from a wide variety of disciplines, and for innovative approaches to such efforts as the transition to alternative, sustainable energy sources and the building of new national infrastructure. “The City of Knowledge is Ecuador’s nucleus of new ideas and technological breakthroughs that will create Ecuador’s sustainable, knowledge-based economy of the future,” said Rivadeneira. “We hope to develop partnerships with Chicago’s technology incubator programs. We want technology firms in Illinois to know we are definitely a forward-thinking country.”
To see more photos, visit Flickr here.
Photos by Cindy Kurman, Kurman Communications, Inc.