Investing abroad is an excellent way to diversify your portfolio. Ecuador offers many different avenues for investment as a foreigner, and there are many factors that make it a financially sound overseas investment. The location alone makes the country easily accessible to other countries for exports, and the climate allows agriculture to be harvested year-round.
There are Ecuadorian investment opportunities in petroleum, mining, agriculture, and manufacturing, as well as Ecuador real estate. One industry that’s beginning to take off is telecommunications and utility, because it’s underdeveloped in the country, yet expanding.
If you want to live in the country and benefit from the cultural experience for a low cost, investing abroad in Ecuador can also grant you residency, which comes with its own set of perks.
Why Invest in Ecuador?
There are many reasons why you should consider investing in Ecuador. One reason is the ideal location for exporting goods. The country is located at the northeastern end of South America, giving trade access to all of Latin America, East Asia, and the west coast of the U.S. With access to the Panama Canal, Europe, the Middle East, the rest of Asia, and the east coast of the U.S. are also within the countries reach as well. There are over 2,500 vessels that leave the ports every year.
Ecuador also has preferential access for its products to Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, and Bolivia. Also, with an agreement with Mercosur countries, exports of close to 4,000 products are tariff-free to Brazil and Argentina.
The country is equipped with modern infrastructure and road systems that are still growing. There are four commercial ports in Guayaquil, Manta, Esmeraldas, and Bolivar as well as 17 private ports. With two international airports, one in Quito and the other in Guayaquil, you will have access to anywhere in the world.
The country is also hooked up with sophisticated telecommunication services via a fiber optic network that runs the Telefonica International Wholesale Services. This leaves room for opportunities in technological innovation and development.
The weather is also a perk that makes the Ecuador good for investment. The climate allows for harvesting of agriculture all year long.
In the past years, Ecuador has been going through some positive changes economically. The incorporation of the U.S. dollar as currency in 2000 has maintained economic equilibrium in the region. There have been record levels of public and private investments and current political stability is only increasing that number.
Free Trade Zones
Ecuador has free trade zones that allow you to import raw materials and machinery duty free and export finished or semi-processed goods without paying taxes. There are no restrictions on the repatriation of the profits for the companies. Relaxed labor laws also allow the companies to hire workers temporarily instead of a year-long contract.
Ecuador Investment Visa
One perk of investment in Ecuador is the residency that accompanies an investment of a certain amount. If you choose to invest $25,000 or more into a Ecuador property or $30,000 or more into an industry, you can gain an investment visa, which is a form of temporary residency. Holding this visa for three or more years can lead to citizenship. Citizenship for an investor would be most profitable because after gaining citizenship, the investor has the ability to sell the asset and use the profit as they wish.
Obtaining an Ecuadorian passport also gives you visa-free travel to all South American countries.
Investment Options for Expats
- Ecuador Real Estate– From 2007 to 2014, Ecuador made big leaps in order to improve its infrastructure. The country spent $8 billion on highways and roads alone. The money came from revenue from oil, with thanks to rising prices. Homes in Ecuador are beautiful, made with excellent workmanship with North American standards. The housing quality and the low costs are beginning to capture buyers’ attentions, especially on coastal towns of Ecuador. And as always in a foreign real estate market – use a qualified Ecuador real estate agent to help you buy real estate in Ecuador.
- Agribusiness and Forestry- Ecuador’s agriculture sector is its oldest sector, making it the most developed. Due to the abundance of land and ideal climate, conditions are perfect for production. Ecuador is the world’s leading exporter of bananas and a leader in rose production. Other products include shrimp, sugar cane, cotton, coffee, and corn.
- Tourism- After years of economic and political changes, Ecuador is becoming a place for visitors traveling abroad from all over the world. Tourism is a priority for the government. In 2014, investments in Ecuador (link to Ecuador Cornerstone) generated an increase in international tourists, growing 3 times faster than the international average.
- Other Businesses
- Plastics machinery
- Automotive parts
- Water resources equipment
- Construction equipment
- Telecommunication equipment