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My work in current situation and my dream for future- PREX Island

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【Warm Message from past participant】 Mr. Gustavo Castaneda, Ministry of Production, Foreign Trade, Investment and Fisheries of Ecuador

Recently it is getting hard to maintain communication face to face, like holding seminar, meeting face to face. 

In this situation, we would like to start the series of “Essay from past participants” aiming maintaining and developing our mutual relationship by online communication.

First message is from Ecuador, Mr. Gustavo Castaneda, Ministry of Production, Foreign Trade, Investment and Fisheries of Ecuador.  In this essay , he introduces his career in past and what he has gained through the seminar in Japan.  And also introduces about his dream in future. 

Mr. Gustavo Castaneda (Ecuador), 
Ministry of Production, Foreign Trade, Investment and Fisheries of Ecuador

” My work in current situation and my dream for future”

My background

          My name is Gustavo Castaneda, on behalf of the Ministry of Production, Foreign Trade, Investment and Fisheries of Ecuador.  I want to express my sincere gratitude to The Japanese People and their Government officials in JICA and their support teams, who made possible a 4-week long immersive experience on the subject of Capacity Development for Investment Promotion back in 2017.

Keep studying and develop my ability for my career         

   In retrospective, I have always embraced opportunities. As an undergraduate student, a bilingual business finance program at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito, a Liberal Arts school in Ecuador, allowed me to intern with the United Nations’ World Food Program (WFP), focusing on a collaborate effort between the WFP, local authorities, and parents to deliver basic education to villages.
          Indeed, getting children into schools was an inspiring experience. Later, two internships in the banking and financial sector helped launch my career. Despite a two-digit unemployment rate, I commenced work as a Portfolio Officer in a Latin American sector that is rapidly expanding, as new financial tools like mortgage-backed securities increase financing sources in cities.
   My work gave me experience with credit and bonds, institutional investors, pension funds and savers, as well as with mortgage banks, developers, and households. I was fortunate to contribute to the first mortgage portfolio securitization process undertaken in Ecuador.

My first job as an Investment Promotion Specialist

-Needs t arise understanding the business environment difference between the Andean nation and the East Asian nations-

          Part of  my task as an Investment Promotion Specialist is to support fresh investments into ‘greenfield and brownfield’ projects by servicing a one-stop-shop solution for foreign businesses in need of profitable opportunities and a soft-landing in a small yet dynamic economy.
          My short-term goal was to continue expanding my professional training across several functional disciplines. Consequently, a clear objective when I looked up to East Asia was to complement management expertise with an International Cooperation and Development piece to the web of trade agreements and double taxation treaties between Ecuador and the East Asia-Pacific region.
         Comprehensive knowledge of such arrangements is critical to competition within free-market economies, and particularly essential in the trade and logistics hubs of the Pacific Rim, all while understanding the competitive business environment differences between the Andean nation and the developed East Asian nations.

Why participating in JICA Knowledge Co-creation Program?

-Continuing academic research how to improve Ecuador’s export promotion efforts to East Asia-
          In a quick flashback, during my busy days of back-to-back meetings, I would stay in my office after-hours reading about JICA’s Knowledge Co-creation Programs in Japan, as well as KOICA’s Scholarship Program in South Korea.
          With the support of the authorities at the Viceministry of Export and Investment Promotion, I participated for a month in the Investment Promotion program hosted at JICA Kansai in 2017.




   Recently, I also gave it a try and decided to apply to one of the top universities in Korea for a program in Finance and Tax Policy offered to public servants from developing countries. During my first year at Korea University, I focused on understanding the pre-industrialization era of Korea’s development.
          During the second year, I worked with faculty and researchers on an Official Development Assistance (ODA) Knowledge Sharing Program consulting project to improve Ecuador’s export promotion efforts to East Asia.
          These academic and professional experiences provide me with a particular background to work on my thesis research on a Latin American region that has opened up to investment from abroad and looks to East Asia as an export destination. My thesis may well lead to an action plan upon my return to my current position at the Vice ministry of Export and Investment Promotion.

In front of KOICA

Impact about COVID-19 for my career and my days

  Perhaps, the 2020-2021 participants will be remembered for facing the worldwide outbreak of the COVID-19 health pandemic. Fortunately, witnessing first-hand the successful management of the situation by the Japanese and Korean authorities made all foreigners here feel safer.
   Due to the safety and preventive measures of social distancing, we had to quickly adapt to on-line courses. However, administrative personnel and professors devised creative ways to deliver lectures and interact with students. On-line courses rather brought us closer together to work on assignments and projects from our Anam Global House (AGH) dormitory.
   Certainly, there are substantial lessons (tacit and explicit) that western nations can take from Japan and Korea’s emergency management response. Participants, who may one day be decision-makers back in our country, will always look to Japan and Korea for exemplary public policy practices in the search to improve the life of our people.

My ultimate goal for my career

   Finally, my ultimate goal once I complete the Master’s program is to influence the construct of policy on export and investment incentives that Ecuador is consistently offering multinationals, foreign, and national investors, especially from East Asia.

  ODA is already helping me achieve my short and long-term goals by providing me with the global perspective I expected. The Knowledge Co-creation Program in Investment Promotion from JICA and the Master’s Degree Program on Finance and Tax Policy from KOICA have allowed me to broaden my historic vision of East Asia and expand my knowledge of investment promotion and public finance and tax policy, and develop to my full potential as a government official.

    To be sure, I carry Japan and Korea in my hearth with enthusiasm wherever I go. Ultimately, it will challenge me to transcend the limits of living in a developing nation. Eventually, I want to pursue a Doctorate.

My deepest thanks to the JICA and PREX follow-up team. Sincerely yours,

Gustavo Castaneda (Ecuador), JICA KCCP 2017

  • Date : October 8, 2020
  • Name : Mr. Gustavo Castaneda
  • job name : Ministry of Production, Foreign Trade, Investment and Fisheries of Ecuador