JUAN JOSÉ YÚNEZ NOWAK

Ecuador 2020 | ECONOMY | INTERVIEW

As one of the most secure and well-planned cities in Ecuador, Samborondón continues to attract investors and tourists to its shores.

Juan José Yúnez Nowak
BIOGRAPHY

Juan José Yúnez Nowak is the Mayor of Samborondón. He graduated as an engineer with a specialization in business science from Universidad de Especialidades Espíritu Santo. His business training started at the age of 17 when, alongside his father José Yúnez Parra, he worked in the rice industry. His love for the farmlands motivated him to create a line of seeds that helped farmers produce higher quality crops. In 2019, he became the highest voted major in the country with 55.4% approval rating.

How has the legacy of the Yúnez administration helped position Samborondón as one of the most prosperous and safest cities in Ecuador?

Samborondón welcomed my great-grandfather when he migrated to Ecuador from Lebanon. My father was the first in the family to enter politics, followed by me. We see politics as a way of serving people using our knowledge, experience, and administrative skills. Today, Samborondón is a safe and well-planned city where everyone wants to live. Security is part of our legacy, and we have achieved it in different ways. Our focus is to ensure that progress reaches all corners of the canton. Samborondón is not only La Puntilla, its most renowned area, but also all of its rural areas. We are continuously working on providing clean drinking water and bringing bring free internet to rural areas. We provide tablets and backpacks to high schools and maintain the infrastructure. We achieved development in the La Puntilla area by working on the security aspect. We are currently conducting a study that will help us maintain a high level of security for the next 10 years. Our broader security strategy includes cameras, a monitoring center, panic buttons, and interconnected radios.

What steps is the municipality taking to develop its tourism offering, and what are the main assets of the canton in this regard?

Samborondón has all the ingredients to keep attracting an increasing number of both local and international tourists. Besides, we are situated next to Guayaquil, the city that receives the highest number of tourists in Ecuador. We are a satellite city next to Guayaquil and offer our own tourism products. We are attracting investments in restaurants, hotels, convention centers, bars, and theaters to create a better offering for tourists. Besides, Samborondón is famous for its bird sighting activity, as many unique species can be found here. Other notable attractions include a museum-house, a beautiful pier, and an old tradition of equestrian sports. Remarkably, the municipality is building Ecuador's first artificial beach in Samborondón. The boardwalk will feature several recreational spaces.

How is the municipality encouraging development in the agricultural sector to make it more competitive?

Samborondón depends mainly on agriculture, especially rice and cattle. We created a rice research center in cooperation with a university to help us carry out research on soil. One of our priorities is to help the farmers in Samborondón improve their competitiveness. We are doing so by teaching them about different technologies such as tractors, machinery, and drones.

Samborondón offers the highest returns on real estate investments among all cities in Ecuador. What are the reasons behind this?

Security is the most important asset of our city. Samborondón's stability has helped properties across the city gain tremendous value. Urban planning is a fundamental issue faced by the majority of municipalities. To tackle this, we have formed a 50-year master plan based on an innovative and planned vision for the canton. This plan clearly defines areas for residential, commercial, and educational buildings. This will further generate economic growth and ensure high returns for those who decide to invest in Samborondón. The city has experienced the highest growth among all cities in Ecuador in the last 20 years. To further develop the canton and attract investors, we are working on city legislations that will generate tax incentives for new companies, which in turn will promote entrepreneurship. Samborondón already has the highest level of entrepreneurs per capita in Ecuador. Companies of all sizes and nature decide to establish their bases in Samborondón. All these factors together have contributed to develop a dynamic and strong real estate market.