QUITO, March 27 (Xinhua) -- Ecuador's ruling party presidential candidate Lenin Moreno on Monday courted foreign investors, promising to continue policies that have benefited the investment sector.
"We have created the systemic competitive conditions so that everything works harmoniously for the benefit of those who want to produce and those who want to start a business," Moreno told a gathering of 35 foreign investors attending a business and investment conference in Quito.
Moreno, who will compete in a runoff Sunday against conservative rival Guillermo Lasso, a longtime banker viewed as being the pro-business candidate -- also touted a portfolio of investment projects worth a total of 38 billion U.S. dollars.
"We have had 10 years of political stability" under the left-leaning PAIS Alliance, he reminded investors, adding a slew of investment incentives would also remain in place, including a five-year exemption on income tax for all new investment in priority sectors and import substitution projects, and a 20-year exemption for investment in basic industries.
Stability is virtually guaranteed since the PAIS Alliance won an absolute majority in the National Assembly in general elections on Feb. 19.
Later, Moreno also told reporters, "I am going to maintain the dollarization" of the national currency, as "the dollar has provided Ecuadorians with economic certainty and security."
Since the country adopted the dollar as its legal tender in 2000, conservative think tanks have regularly sounded the alarm that PAIS is preparing to revert the policy.
The Monday conference drew U.S., Asian and European business leaders and top executives from firms in the automotive, agricultural, manufacturing, telecommunications, oil, gas, mining, tourism, technology, communications and infrastructure sectors.