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2019 Latin American Cities Conferences: Guayaquil

Americas Society / Council of the Americas

May 9, 2019



Follow the discussion on Twitter: #EcuadorCOA | @ASCOA

How can Ecuador continue to attract new investment and make it easier to conduct business in the country? Americas Society and Council of the Americas, in partnership with Ecuador’s Ministry of Production, Foreign Trade, Investment, and Fisheries, will host its Latin American Cities Conference in Guayaquil on Thursday, May 9. This year’s conference will bring together key government officials and private-sector leaders to discuss Ecuador’s investment climate and opportunities.


This event is complimentary. Prior registration is required.

Learn more about the LACC series and see other upcoming events.

Sponsorship Opportunities: Ana Calderon | | 212-277-8358
Membership Information: Mila Fontana | | 212-277-8374
Note: View a list of COA corporate members.
Press Inquiries:
Cancellation: Contact Juan Serrano-Badrena at before 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 8.

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Otto Sonnenholzner

Vice President, Ecuador

Otto Sonnenholzner was elected to be the vice president of Ecuador in December 2018. For 12 years, he was a radio personality with his own talk show and was the general manager of Radio Tropicana in Guayaquil. Sonnenholzner also served as the president of Asociación Ecuatoriana de Radiodifusores in Guayas. He has also served on the faculty of the Universidad Católica de Guayaquil where he taught courses on business.

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Pablo Campana

Foreign Trade and Investment Minister, Ecuador

Pablo Campana was appointed the minister of production, foreign trade, investment, and fisheries in January 2019 after the consolidation of various ministries. In this role, he prioritizes public policy development, improved productivity, competitiveness, and job growth. Previously, Campana served as the minister of foreign trade and investment, a position he assumed in May 2017. In this role he led Ecuador’s commercial policy, strengthening ties with major trading partners.

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Rosi Prado de Holguín

Minister of Tourism, Ecuador

Rosi Prado de Holguín is the minister of tourism of Ecuador. Before assuming her current role, she was the manager and legal representative of AWT SA Group Cinco Continentes Agencia de Viajes y Turismo, general manager at AWT SA Group Ecuador, and general manager of Ecuador: Ocio, viajes y turismo. Prado de Holguín also has experience in the airline industry as a sales manager for American Airlines, manager of Passenger Sales and Cargo at Eastern Airlines, manager of Reservations and Tickets at Braniff International, and commercial manager of TAME, the Airline of Ecuador.

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Fernando Benalcázar

Vice Minister of Mining, Ecuador

Fernando Benalcázar has been Ecuador’s vice minister of mining since September 2018. He approaches his role with a vision of transparency and institutional efficiency, promoting the development of economically profitable, socially responsible, and environmentally sustainable projects. Benalcázar has over 26 years of experience as a civil engineer in the national and international oil industry. He is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers in Ecuador.

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Jaime Nebot

Mayor, Guayaquil

Jaime Nebot has been the mayor of Guayaquil since 2000, having been reelected three times. Both a lawyer and a politician, he is a two-time presidential candidate. Previously, Nebot represented the province of Guayas in Congress and in 1991 assumed national leadership of the Partido Social Cristiano. He began his career in the public sector when he was elected governor of the province of Guayas in 1984. Nebot holds a degree in social sciences and politics from the Universidad Católica de Guayaquil.

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Carlos Alaña Pine

Country Manager, Mexichem Ecuador

Carlos Alaña Pine is the country manager for Mexichem Ecuador. He joined Plastigama in 1997 when it was still owned by the Swiss group Amanco. After Mexichem aquired Amanco in 2008, Alaña Pine was transferred to Mexico where he became a commercial director. After two years of successfully implementing strategies for a business consolidation, he returned to Ecuador as a commercial director and assumed his current role as country manager in 2013. Alaña Pine studied mechanical engineering and holds an MBA with an emphasis in marketing from EPSOL in Ecuador.

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Patricio Alarcón

President, Ecuadorian Business Committee

Patricio Alarcón currently serves as president of the Ecuadorian Business Committee, the National Federation of Chambers of Commerce, the Chamber of Commerce of Quito, and the Ecuador chapter of the International Chamber of Commerce – ICC Ecuador. He is also part of the supervisory committee of the public debt of Ecuador, created by the Office of the Comptroller General. Under his leadership, he has promoted commercial missions to Peru and Panama, as well as signed agreements of inter-institutional cooperation between Chambers of Commerce of Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.

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Bexi Jimenez

Risk Management Officer for Latin America, Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency

Bexi Jimenez is a risk management officer for Latin America at the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the political risk insurance and credit enhancement arm of the World Bank Group. She joined MIGA in December 2014 and is the economist responsible for Latin America in the Economics and Sustainability Department. In this role, Jimenez analyzes economics, politics, and governance in emerging markets to provide investors with political risk guarantees against expropriation, political violence, currency transfer risks, and government breach of contract.

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Julio Laso

Senior Vice President, Government Affairs Head, Citibank, N.A. Sucursal Ecuador

Julio Laso is the senior vice president at Citi Ecuador, where leads the legal department. Additionally, he has been responsible for human resources since 2017 and government affairs since 2015. Previously, he worked in banks and local consulting firms, specializing in capital markets. Laso is a lawyer and received his JD from the Catholic University in Quito. He is also a graduate from the Institute of Latin American Studies at the Sorbonne University.

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Bernardo Requena

Director-Representative, CAF – Development Bank of Latin America

Bernardo Requena is the director-representative of CAF – Banco de Desarrollo de América Latina, in their Ecuador office. Previously, he was the director of Social Development of CAF. In his native Bolivia, Requena served as deputy minister of Public Investment and Financing at the Ministry of Finance, was the executive director of the Economic and Social Policy Analysis Unit, and has served on the boards of several private companies.

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Javier Robalino Orellana

Partner, FERRERE

Javier Robalino Orellana is a partner at FERRERE in Ecuador and a member of the firm’s global executive committee. He also co-chairs the arbitration practice and acts as managing partner for Ecuador, representing various multinationals in multiple local and international commercial and investment disputes. Previously, he served as chair of the ALArb State Relations Committee, director of the Ibero-American Forum on Administrative Law (2007–2013), representative of Club Español de Arbitraje CEA, and director of the Chamber of Industries (2003–2005).

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Andrew Taunton

Vice President, SolGold Ecuador

Andrew Taunton is the vice president for Ecuador Subsidiaries at SolGold. He has held senior management positions for international companies in Ecuador in the security, petroleum, airport management, and mining industries. Among Taunton’s entrepreneurial activities are establishing a new company in oil-field services with operational activities in Ecuador’s Amazon region and representing international companies in the aviation supply industry both for the public and private sector. He holds a degree in electronics engineering from the University of Bradford, England.

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Susan Segal

President and CEO, Americas Society/Council of the Americas

Susan Segal was elected president and CEO of Americas Society/Council of the Americas in 2003 after having worked in the private sector with Latin America and other emerging markets for over 30 years. A passionate supporter of Latin America, she joined the organizations to implement a new strategic plan to renew and return the Society and Council to their historic position. Prior to her current position, she was a founding partner of her own investment and advisory group focused primarily on Latin America and the U.S. Hispanic sector.

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#EcuadorCOA video: Vicepresidente Otto Sonnenholzner - "El mundo ve a Ecuador con ojos diferentes"

May 09, 2019

La autoridad habló de los pasos claves que ha tomado la administración del Presidente Lenín Moreno en desviar al país de una política radical hacia una que es práctica y objetiva....

#EcuadorCOA video: Susan Segal y Jaime Nebot sobre el cambio en Ecuador

May 09, 2019

La presidenta y CEO de AS/COA y el alcalde de Guayaquil hablaron sobre la apertura de la economía ecuatoriana y las oportunidades de negocios y inversiones en el país....

#EcuadorCOA video: Pablo Campana sobre haciendo negocios en Ecuador

May 09, 2019

El ministro de producción, comercio exterior, inversiones y pesca de Ecuador habló de las perspectivas para la inversión en el país....

#EcuadorCOA video: Panel sobre el clima de inversión y oportunidades de desarrollo

May 09, 2019

Los panelistas destacaron la necesidad para una estabilidad macroeconómica de Ecuador, reglas claras de negocios y una participación mayor del sector privado....

#EcuadorCOA: Rosi Prado de Holguín sobre un turismo estratégico

May 09, 2019

La ministra de turismo destacó la competitividad del sector al nivel regional y su potencial para impulsar la economía ecuatoriana....

#EcuadorCOA video: Panel sobre el futuro de la minería

May 09, 2019

La actividad será el pilar económico principal de Ecuador, proyecta el Viceministro de Minas Fernando Benalcázar....

#EcuadorCOA: Ángel Loja sobre los proyectos de transporte en el país

May 09, 2019

"Esperamos que estos proyectos despierten el interés de la inversión privada en nuestro país", dijo el viceministro....



8:00–9:00 a.m. Coffee and Registration

9:00–9:30 a.m. Opening Remarks

  • Susan Segal, President and CEO, Americas Society/Council of the Americas
  • Jaime Nebot, Mayor of Guayaquil

9:30–9:50 a.m.  Keynote: Doing Business in Ecuador

  • Pablo Campana, Minister of Production, Foreign Trade, Investment and Fisheries of Ecuador

9:50–11:00 a.m.  Panel: Investment Climate and Opportunities in Ecuador

  • Carlos Alaña Pine, Country Manager, Mexichem Ecuador
  • Bexi Jimenez, Risk Management Officer for Latin America, Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency
  • Julio Laso, Senior Vice President & Government Affairs Head, Citibank, N.A. Sucursal Ecuador
  • Bernardo Requena, Director Representative, CAF
  • Patricio Alarcón, President, Comité Empresarial Ecuatoriana (moderator)

11:00–11:20 a.m. Keynote: Growth in Ecuador’s Tourism Sector

  • Rosi Prado de Holguín, Minister of Tourism

11:20 a.m. – 12:10 p.m.  Coffee Break

12:10–12:25 p.m. Keynote: Opportunities for Growth in Ecuador’s Transportation Sector

  • Angel Loja, Vice Minister of Transportation

12:25–1:25 p.m.  Conversation: The Future of Mining in Ecuador

  • Fernando Benalcazar, Vice Minister of Mining
  • Andrew Taunton, Vice President, SolGold Ecuador
  • Javier Robalino, Partner, FERRERE (moderator)

1:25–1:40 p.m.  Closing Keynote

  • Otto Sonnenholzner, Vice President of Ecuador