The United States Supports Ecuador’s Economic Development

Scott Nathan, Executive Director of DFC, during his visit to Latacunga.

Scott Nathan, Executive Director of the DFC, visited Ecuador to meet with government officials, current and potential partners, and private sector executives. Ecuador is the largest DFC market in the Western Hemisphere, with $1.7 billion currently invested. 

Quito, August 2, 2023. Scott Nathan, Executive Director of the United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), along with DFC officials, visited Ecuador for three days. During his stay, he met with Ecuadorian government officials, current and potential partners, and private sector executives to discuss DFC’s support in Ecuador.

The Executive Director met with President Lasso to discuss DFC’s increased investment in private sector led economic development to improve the livelihoods of Ecuadorians and increase stability and economic inclusion in the country.

“DFC is investing with private sector partners who are building high-quality infrastructure, more resilient health systems, and strengthening food security, and we are investing to provide access to clean, reliable energy and to support small businesses, which are vital for the Ecuadorian economy. DFC invests in projects that will help Ecuador achieve its development objectives and support lasting benefits for the Ecuadorian people,” said the Executive Director.

As part of his agenda, Mr. Nathan visited Axxis Hospital. DFC supports stronger health systems, which is why it contributed more than $18 million to fund the expansion of the hospital and its ability to provide quality care to women and children. In addition, the delegation traveled to Latacunga to explore possible financing lines through local institutions, to promote the development of rural communities. The Fernando Daquilema Savings and Credit Cooperative there will receive a $9 million loan guarantee from the DFC to expand loans to indigenous businesses and women-led ventures working in rural areas and local markets in Ecuador. 

From 2018-2021, at the Government of Ecuador’s request, the Department of State’s Power Sector Program (PSP) of the Bureau of Energy Resources, advised the government on the design and implementation of five transparent and competitive tenders for generation and transmission assets, as the government planned the country’s first-ever tender processes for private investment in the power sector.  PSP support included legal, regulatory, technical, and financial advisory support on the DFC-financed El Aromo solar project, the Villonaco II/III wind project, a capacity block tender for diverse renewable energy technologies, among others.

PSP delivered more than 13,000 person/hours of capacity building over six trainings to more than 150 personnel from the Ministry of Energy, regulator ARCONEL, electric utility CELEC, and power system operator CENACE.  This cooperation helped build Ecuador’s institutional and technical capacity on competitive procurement, renewable generation tenders, operating power systems with larger volumes of variable renewable energy, and has helped pave the way for Ecuador to successfully and transparently attract more quality power infrastructure and investment, particularly renewable energy.

Ecuador offers a representative perspective of DFC’s work. It ranges from large infrastructure projects to conservation and financing for renewable energy projects, health care, expansion and modernization of ports, loans for SMEs and ventures with an inclusive approach. Ecuador is the largest DFC market in the Western Hemisphere and the second worldwide, with $1.7 billion currently invested. 

In May, DFC authorized a $150 million loan to Yilport Terminal Operations to expand and modernize the Puerto Bolívar container terminal in El Oro. DFC supports the supply of clean, reliable, and affordable energy to Ecuadorians through financing $144 million for the El Aromo solar project, the first photovoltaic solar power plant owned by the private sector in Ecuador. 

DFC also assisted environmental conservation in Ecuador with a $656 million political risk insurance policy to support a debt conversion operation that will generate some $323 million for marine conservation in the Galapagos Islands over the next 18.5 years. 

For the United States, it is very important to strengthen Ecuador’s capital markets and increase the attractiveness of the country as an investment destination.