Ecuador is located in South America. It has 14 million inhabitants. Its GDP is $54.67 billion. Its GDP per capita is 7500 USD. Its GDP real growth rate is 5.9%. The local currency is the US Dollar. Its Capital is Quito. Quito has 2 million inhabitants. It has 96% of basic services (water supply, sewer systems, electricity, and telecommunications). Quito is involved in Ecuador’s actual biggest FDI project with the construction of its new world class international airport and a new road system. The organization in charge of this development is CORPAQ, a municipal entity in charge of the project.
The new airport of Quito is a Public Private Partnership project under a BOT model for the construction of the only new airport in Latin America. The new airport is being built in an area of 3 706 acres with 1235 acres for an airport facilities for 5 million passengers per year and 270 tons of cargo in its first stage. The new airport is at 52% of its construction and will open in last trimester of 2010. Inside the new airport, there are 494 acres for activities related with industry, commerce and service operations.
The new airport area is a free trade zone. The free trade zone law of Ecuador has tax incentives as zero income tax for 20years, zero municipal taxes, zero VAT, zero import tariffs, customs in better conditions and in this particular zone full municipal support is granted.
The use of the land has a cost of 3 USD per 33 square feet per year under a concession model and a private financial initiative. The first 24.7 acres will be fully equipped with water supply, abundant electricity, sewer systems, access roads and fiber optics. This area will be available in the first trimester 2010. There is no minimum land requirement but a maximum of 494 acres.
Virgin; can start operations in Ecuador in two main sectors: Travel and Tourism and Retail
A) Travel and tourism:
Ecuador has an absolute advantage which is Galapagos Islands. In 2008, 173 420 people arrived to Galapagos. In the last decade 44% of visitors were Americans and in second place were British with 12%, the rest of the visitors were mainly Europeans.
The new airport could open the possibility for new fly frequencies form USA and a direct fly from UK to Ecuador. It is a good opportunity for Virgin holydays and its sisters companies such as Virgin Atlantic. Virgin can get advantage of the international demand willing to visit this unique part of the world.
According with Galapagos Park Authority 40% of visitors are staying in hotels. The Special Law of Galapagos has restrictions to conserve this unique environment but the construction of new hotel facility is possible under certain regulations.
Ecuador offers in the same country 3 different regions: Coast, Andean High Lands and Rain Forest where the Amazon basin starts, all in one country at 30 minutes of internal flies with spring mild weather during all year.
Another field with extraordinary dimension is the development of EXA, the Ecuadorian Space Agency. This organization achieved the first Latin American Micro gravity fly. The fly was also a world record, flying with the youngest passenger in this type of flies with a kid of 7 years old.
In part or in all 494 acres a Space Thematic Training Tourist Park could be built under the brand of Virgin Galactic, increasing the alternatives of space tourism in the world and in addition do Research and Development activities. Quito is crossing by the Equator line and is situated at 9186 feet making one of the closes inhabited points to reach space.
The City itself is a spectacular tourist attraction. It has the largest, best-preserved, and least-altered historic centre and it is the first city that was inscribed onto the UNESCO World Heritage.
Most of virgin brads could successfully been introduced to the Andean Market and to other markets using the Free Trade Zona as a logistic hub. The Free Trade Zone is a window to access the Andean Community of Nations with cero import duties and 120 million inhabitants, Central America specially Panama and Costa Rica, USA with the ATPDA agreement allowing us to export 6100 items free of import duties, the General Preference System allowing us to export 7200 products with cero import duties to EU and some similar trade tools to access the Canadian market, the Japanese market and Russia.
Products such as Virgin DRINKS, VIRGIN COSMETICs or VIRGIN VIE could be manufactured in the Free Trade Zone and from there; Virgin could export to bigger markets and also sale products to the local market as well. New global products could be developed in Ecuador. Virgin Drinks for example, could commercialize the use of Ilex guayusa. This is an Ecuadorian plant use as traditional drink by the Shuar community in our jungle. Guayusa plant has the most content of caffeine in comparison with any other known plant. A manufacture facility for a Guayusa drink in the free trade zone is an alternative to globalize the product.
In addition of the free trade zone law with tax incentives and faster custom procedures, Ecuador offers, less time in logistic process especially to access USA in comparison with Asia. Market access, tax incentives, affordable well educated human resources, a new airport facility above the average of the region and full municipal support are some of the variables to consider locate Virgin Business in the free trade zone of the new airport Quito – Ecuador.
All our legal, business, marketing, custom procedures and aeronautic staff will guide you to expand your operations in Latin America, using the free trade zone of the new airport as a window of international business.
I work as a free trade zone coordinator and part of my duties is to get in touch with world class companies and let them know all the opportunities available in the area.
I’m fan of Virgin since I use part of its services in the year2000. I study and admire its business model and especially I’m impressed with Virgin Galactic on how an idea and an irresistible desire of create can make the difference.
In terms of revenues I see enormous benefits getting part of the British and the American markets to Galapagos. The same with space tourism and micro gravity flies. The production of Guayusa Drink will be a revolution in energy drinks and office stamina drinks being a possible substitute for coffee or tea. Finally the manufacturing of certain Virgin products in Ecuador will give you a better access to the regional Latin American markets and USA and EU using the Tariff preferences and other trade tools.
From our side, as CORPAQ, we are going to put all our efforts to make Virgin in Ecuador as profitable as possible and as comfortable as possible to have a long lasting business relation. As Ecuador we would like to be the first South American Virgin Territory.