Ecuador 2019 | DIPLOMACY | REVIEW

Lenín Moreno assumed the Presidency of Ecuador in May 2017 as a proponent of reducing the size of the government, privatizing industry, and reducing public spending where possible. In mid-2018, he launched a project to re-engineer the cabinet, reducing the number of ministers from 40 to 20. We discussed this project with the National Secretary for Planning and Development (SENPLADES), Jose Augusto Briones, who led the reorganization, whose interview features prominently in this chapter.

Another program launched in September 2018 is the Open Government Alliance (OGP), a plan to fight corruption and increase citizen participation in policy making. The OGP is a global concept with 79 nations already participating. With its membership, the administration hopes the government can now commit to better public management and greater democratic governance.

We also talk to Jaime Nebot Saadi, who was appointed Mayor of Guayaquil in 2000 and will end his term in 2019. He has had a large impact on the development of the city, both for business and leisure tourists, as well as its own citizens. Guayaquil has always been the industrial heart of Ecuador, and with Nebot's investments in infrastructure and business, the city is now a flourishing place for manufacturing and a hub for sea trade.

With a new investment law, the administration hopes to continue this economic diversification and opening up of the economy. In 2017, Ecuador signed a free trade agreement with the EU, while other FTAs are still on the negotiation table. The ambition is to open up the economy, attract more investment, and solidify the country's position as a leading Andean economy.