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Events, forums and conventions are postponed for up to three months due to the national strike. Losses estimated at $2.5 million

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On Thursday, June 23, Guayaquil was going to be the banana center of the world for the first time. International experts and potential foreign investors looking to do business with Ecuadorian producers and exporters had their hotel and flight reservations ready. They were going to be part of the International Banana Convention of Ecuador and the Worldwho organized the Banana Exporters Association (Asoexpla).

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However, the national strike, which is now in its second week, caused the event to be postponed until September 8 and 9, generating losses for Asoexpla, he regrets. Eduardo Manrique, executive director of the guild.

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With its first world convention and an international book, the Ecuadorian plantain seeks the same recognition as the banana

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Although he does not yet have exact figures for the damage, he calculates that it should not be less than $50,000, only in cancellation of reservations and flights, charges and fines from suppliers, brochures that must be redone, among other minor expenses.

However, for Manrique that is the least of it, since what is most worrying are the business opportunities and credibility that were lost.

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“There had already been talks, relationships had already been established with small producers, with buyers, with the industrial sector, these are events that move the economy, that promote our products, so as a country it is not just the fact of canceling an event and that it costs us more or less $ 50,000, is the fact that this credibility as a country is lost a little, ”laments Manrique, who assured that the conference was planned five months in advance.

Asoexpla is just one of the business events or forums that have had to be rescheduled due to social protests, which according to Holbach Muñeton, president of the Federation of Chambers of Tourism of Ecuador and vice president of the Ecuadorian Business Committee (CEE)represents losses for this segment for no less than $2.5 million at the national level (Guayaquil and Quito).

“We must also add the lost opportunity cost, the events lost in the future, the reserves lost, those of today and in the future,” warns the leader.

The Export and Investment Promotion Corporation (Corpei)which was part of the organization of the Asoexpla event, also had to reschedule other events due to the protests.

María Alejandra Granja, Communication Director of the Corporation, indicates that workshops of the +ECI project were rescheduled: More Inclusive Circular Ecuador, which they planned to start this Thursday in Quito.

“We were going to start today in Quito, but we decided to start in Guayaquil. The following week we are going, so far, to Manta, but it is not 100% confirmed. The same for the workshop in Cuenca and finally in Quito; these two the second week of July”, reveals the executive, and explains that the workshops are face-to-face and are to learn basic aspects of the circular economy and to apply for the project.

Every day of stoppage, Ecuador’s tourism loses from $2 million to $5 million

Meanwhile, the Eurochambers accredited in Ecuador and the delection of the European Union They also decided to postpone the four conferences commemorating the fifth anniversary of the implementation of the trade agreement between the European Union and Ecuador, which were scheduled for June 21 in Quito, Guayaquil, Manta and Cuenca, and which were rescheduled for September.

This is “given the current situation in the country and considering that our priority is to safeguard the safety and well-being of our guests,” according to Charles-Michel Geurts, EU Ambassador to Ecuador.

The public sector has also been forced to move the dates of its events.

It is the case of Ministry of Production, Foreign Trade, Investments and Fisheries, which suspended the tenth edition of the macro business round scheduled for June 29 and 30 in Guayaquil and rescheduled for September 13 and 14.

Approximately 1,050 business meetings were planned to be held at the event in person, with the participation of 350 Ecuadorian exporting companies, 125 international buyers from the markets of Asia, the European Union, the United Kingdom and America.

EL UNIVERSO newspaper consulted the Vice Ministry of Export and Investment Promotion about the expectations for the new date of the event. The entity replied that for September they expect more attendees than what was scheduled for June.

“Originally there was a full occupancy of 70% due to biosecurity measures required by the hotel, since this was planned since the beginning of the year; however, after we have already been vaccinated and the capacity has increased, we can invite more exporters and include more sectors to the macro-round,” explains the Vice Ministry, which acknowledges that there are fines for changing dates in the case of buyers, but not in all cases.

“There will definitely be an economic impact, but it will be marginal based on the business expectation that is set as a goal in two days, more than $120 million”, indicates the entity, which adds that the service providers have understood the current situation and agree with the new dates.

In addition, other state institutions have had to suspend their face-to-face attention to the public, such as the regional office of the Superintendence of Companies, Securities and Insurance.

Meanwhile, there are events that do not stop or are rescheduled, such as the commemoration of the 133 years of the Guayaquil Chamber of Commerce, which took place this Thursday night at the city’s Convention Center.

Ricardo Baquerizo, president of Expoplaza, assures that they have not had to suspend any event this week and the agenda for the next one remains uneventful. “We do not want to suspend events and we want it to be a message not to stop working.” (YO)

Source: Eluniverso

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