Featured Photo: Major infrastructure project is increasing tourism and boosting commerce
In Quito, Ecuador, a traveler shops for Ecuadorian chocolate at the locally-owned República del Cacao shop at the Mariscal Sucre International Airport. República del Cacao began as a tiny kiosk selling fine locally-produced chocolate in Quito’s old airport. With increased tourism from the Mariscal Sucre International Airport, República del Cacao gained visibility among international consumers and was able to increase the size of its business. It now exports its chocolates around the world and has opened additional shops.
Built with the support of OPIC financing, the Mariscal Sucre International Airport replaced a relatively dangerous airport with one of Latin America’s most modern, and has become one of the busiest airports in South America. OPIC committed $200 million in long-term financing, which helped developer HAS Development Corporation, an affiliate of the Houston Airport System, and its partners attract additional lenders, including Inter-American Development Bank and Canada’s Economic Development Corporation, into the deal so that there was sufficient financing to move forward.
Since the airport opening in 2013, five new passenger airlines and five new cargo airlines have begun serving the airport, supporting local and international businesses, and enabling Ecuador, and its local businesses like República del Cacao, to expand its export markets around the world.