Ago amicus curiae presented two production sectors within the framework of the analysis carried out by the Constitutional Court of the law on attracting and promoting investments for productive development, Marcelo José Salame Alban explains that the National Chamber of Aquaculture and Anecacao presented their files against the provision of the fifth general that refers to investment contracts, and not generally to the project of free zones.

Salame, part of the general commission in the framework of processing the Organic Law for attracting investments, strengthening the stock market and digital transformation, assures that the two unions “did not present amicus curiae against the Law on Free Zones, but against the fifth general provision that deals with provisions related to investment contracts, which they consider a ‘violation of legal certainty and arbitrariness'”.

He does this so that there is no “confusion and discouragement in entire populations that look forward to the work that allows them to survive.”

There are seven free zone initiatives awaiting investment law, according to Minister Julio José Prado

And he refers to the fact that there are close to 4,000 free zones in more than a hundred countries, which create almost 70,000,000 jobs. That 41% of exports from these countries take place through free zones. “These free zones receive 20% of direct national investment, and since 2015, 400 free zones in Latin America have received more than $1,100,000,000 in investment thanks to their work.”

Note that some of the characteristics of free zones are: technology transfer, high employability, innovation, care for the environment, smart infrastructure, national production, transparency and fiscal and customs traceability, and highly competitive wages.

Ecuador is in the last positions in the ranking of free zones and investments, a reality that is intended to be reversed by the second decree of the law

Salame reminds that the first free zone in the world was established in Uruguay in 1929, and in 1959 Ireland created a new concept that continues to this day. “Free zones operate in full compliance with customs and state laws, encouraging customs supervisory agencies to locate within them.”

Marcelo Salame, from the General Commission in the framework of processing the Organic Law for attracting investments, strengthening the stock market and digital transformation. Photo: Courtesy

The tax benefits that stay in the free zone represents for domestic and foreign companies generate six times more, i.e. for every $1 in tax benefits for companies, $6 would enter the state treasury.

Uruguay, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Costa Rica, Brazil, Mexico, Peru and Guatemala lead the way in terms of the number and size of these areas. Among the countries with the least active free zones are Nicaragua, Haiti, Venezuela and Bolivia. Only Ecuador completely lacks them except for the tuna-free zone, he states.

For this reason, he calls on the constitutional judges: “Employability, food and survival of thousands of Ecuadorian families will depend on this new industry that is so necessary in these complex times. Cheap politics does not feed families, it feeds business. Judges, the responsibility for the above rests on your shoulders.”