National Finance Corporation CEO discusses Ecuador with BMUN – The Ticker

The CEO of the National Finance Corporation, Ecuador’s largest public bank, Eduardo Salgado Manzano, discussed the country’s government, financial sector and economy with members of the Baruch Model United Nations during his an event October 22.

During the event, he explained how the Ecuadorian economy before the COVID-19 pandemic was heavily dependent on oil prices. The economy grew until 2015 when oil prices fell, leading to a slow economy.

The country saw no growth in 2020 and little growth in 2021, according to Salgado Manzano.

Ecuador “missed the opportunity to create a sustainable economy during the oil boom,” leading to external borrowing and public debt, Salgado Manzano said.

In 2010, debt levels were around 20% of gross domestic product, up from 65% in 2020.

“We don’t have economic instruments like fiscal or monetary policy to improve the economy,” Salgado Manzano said.

He also explained that before the pandemic, the country had 1.2 million tourists a year. This year, there have been about half of them.

Ecuador has surpassed many other countries in its vaccination rate, according to Salgado Manzano. He expects the country’s economy to improve after the mass vaccination.

Ecuador was one of the hardest hit countries at the start of the pandemic.

“Our intensive care unit in the terminal care unit, turned into intensive care units, was full,” he said. “And so, we’ve had a lot of pain and death, but we’re trying to improve the healthcare system.”

In addition to exporting $6-7 billion in oil, its main source of income, Ecuador also exports $2.9-3 billion in bananas.

It also exports $1 billion worth of fish like tuna and $400 million worth of coffee and other exports.

Salgado Manzano said that to modernize the labor market, the country should accelerate hiring, increase employment opportunities and improve social protection for women and young people.

It also wants to effectively allocate more resources to solving chronic child malnutrition.

The speaker said that progressive tax reform would support social policy that supports vulnerable people and leads to a reduction in social gaps.

He also said that they have entered into alliances with universities to provide scholarships, with the aim of improving education even at the virtual level.

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