Contecon Guayaquil S.A. (CGSA), International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI)’s subsidiary in Ecuador, welcomed the creation of a special economic zone at the country’s main seaport to boost foreign trade.

This week, CGSA, together with national government and port authority officials, presented its Declaration of Special Economic Development Zone (ZEDE) to strengthen the competitiveness of Ecuador’s exports.

Iván Ontaneda (left), Ecuadorian Minister of Production, Foreign Trade, Investments and Fisheries, with José Antonio Contreras, CGSA General Manager, at the recent unveiling of ZEDE.

ZEDE will be situated in an area adjacent to the Port of Guayaquil, acting as a hub for national and international investments.

The port itself is a prime location, interconnected with the country’s main production centers, other maritime ports and airports.

“The ZEDE has an unbeatable location,” noted José Antonio Contreras, CGSA General Manager.

Furthermore, the zone allows for the development of high-impact investments.

“Its scheme has a stable regulatory framework enabling long-term financial and tax planning while covering activities included in the prioritized sectors of the Ecuadorian economy,” he explained.

To attract businesses, the ZEDE offers incentives, such as exemption from Income Taxes for the first 10 years of the project and reduction of 10 points from the tax rate for the next 10 years.

Locators will likewise be exempted from Foreign Exchange Exit Tax for up to 20 years, Foreign Trade Taxes for a similar period, as well as Value Added Tax credit on local purchases.

In addition, locators will enjoy benefits in sectional fees and taxes, as well as benefits in special customs processes for the scheme.

Siginificantly, the ZEDE will also join the Port of Guayaquil’s environmental scheme to become the first carbon-neutral special economic zone in Ecuador.

The zone is implementing a strict environmental sustainability plan starting from day one of its operations – a first for the region.

CGSA itself became the first carbon-neutral port in Latin America in 2018.

Last year, it handled the world’s first carbon-neutral shipment comprising banana exports.

The terminal has handled more than 12 million TEUs since commencing operations in 2007, mobilizing over five million tons of export cargo annually.

Source: Manila Bulletin (