Cash from Ecuadorians in Spain to spur business

10th July 2007, Comments 0 comments

10 July 2007, MADRID - The Ecuadorian government backed a plan to convert remittances sent home by its citizens living in Spain into "a springboard for (Ecuador's) development".

10 July 2007

MADRID - The Ecuadorian government backed a plan to convert remittances sent home by its citizens living in Spain into "a springboard for (Ecuador's) development".

Spain and Ecuador signed a cooperation agreement that will make possible the creation of micro-businesses and other projects.

Ecuadorian Emigration Minister William Murillo went to his country's Embassy in Spain to sign the accord with the UCMTA union with an eye toward better taking advantage of the remittances sent by Ecuadorians to their relatives back home.

Murillo is in this capital as part of the political and business mission of Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, who is due in Spain this week.

"We need the remittances not to be a source of money for consumption, but rather to be a springboard for the country's development," Murillo told Efe.

Murillo signed the pact along with UCMTA chief Ruben Villa Benayas, who emphasized the important opportunities the agreement opens for the two countries.

Ecuadorian authorities hope to use the pact to create at least 12 micro-businesses and 50 projects in the home communities of the emigrants, as well as to set up "sustainable long-term local and transnational networks" designed to create ideal conditions for the "optimum use" of the remittances.

In addition, the South American country's government is working toward a joint effort with banks and savings institutions to give Ecuadorians the incentive to save under preferential conditions and to be able to take out low-interest loans with the aim of fostering investment in Ecuador, as well as reducing the cost of the cash transfers.

"We want for the Ecuadorian emigrant not only to be able to deposit his money in a bank," Murillo told Efe, going on to discuss the government's intention to create the so-called Migrant's Bank to help channel the savings and the loans.

With the aim of fostering the sending of remittances and using them in the most effective way possible, Murillo said that the Quito government's "absolute priority" was to "help regularize (the situations of) all Ecuadorians in their destination countries."

Currently, Ecuadorians in Spain number about 425,000 properly registered migrants, according to official figures, but some sources put the total number of Ecuadorians in the European country at around 700,000.

Some 86 percent of those people send remittances to their relatives in Ecuador.

Of the $2.9 billion in remittances that flowed into Ecuador last year, 45.9 percent came from the United States and 44.2 percent from Spain, according to a recent report prepared by the Central Bank of Ecuador, which said that the year's level of remittances was the highest ever. EFE

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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