QUITO (Reuters) – Ecuador’s government on Tuesday said it was submitting a series of legal reforms to the congress aimed at attracting foreign investment, including tax exemptions and incentives to boost formal employment.
President Guillermo Lasso’s administration, which is seeking $30 billion in private investment for projects in key sectors, will submit the planned reforms to the National, Assembly on Tuesday as a priority to be discussed. Lawmakers will have 30 days for approval.
“All of this has a main reason, which is to offer employment through investment,” the government’s Technical Secretary for Public-Private Ventures, Roberto Salas, told journalists.
Lasso’s party does not hold a majority in congress. A previous attempt to secure incentives for investors through a larger reform failed to be green-lighted last year.
The reforms would create incentives for forming ventures between state and private companies willing to do infrastructure projects while revamping the nation’s stock exchange and boosting free zones for trade.
Lasso, a conservative who previously worked as banking executive, has said that the COVID-19 pandemic increased the Andean country’s unemployment rate and informality. During his presidential campaign he promised to add 2 million new jobs through 2025.
(Reporting by Alexandra Valencia; Editing by Sandra Maler)