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The rise of the dollar makes Ecuadorians cross en masse to buy in Colombia

The high price of the dollar in Colombia captivates Ecuadorians, who cross the border in search of better prices. The difference is noticeable above all in food and household appliances and is already alerting Ecuadorian merchants.

Hundreds of Ecuadorian buyers have moved from the Ecuadorian city of Tulcán to the shopping centers of the Colombian cities of Ipiales and Pasto, with which they maintain a distance of 12 and 94 kilometers, respectively.

Read also: Check out our coverage on Ecuador

Motivated by the rise of the dollar in Colombia, where it reached the barrier of COL$5,000, Ecuadorians cross the border in search of more beneficial prices and take advantage of the fact that, as it is a ‘dollarized’ economy, they receive their income in the United States currency.

Colombia, The rise of the dollar makes Ecuadorians cross en masse to buy in Colombia
Motivated by the rise of the dollar in Colombia, where it reached the barrier of COL$5,000, Ecuadorians cross the border in search of more beneficial prices (Photo internet reproduction)

The largest price differences can be seen in electrical appliances—even of the same brands—and food, which are offered at a more accessible price on the Colombian side.

The trend has spread so much that the purchase modality is no longer traditional, in person, and purchase procedures were established where Ecuadorians can carry out international transactions and Colombian sellers are in charge of bypassing the border crossings to bring them the orders.

According to the local media outlet El Comercio, Ecuadorian border vendors are already suffering the consequences of this situation with the drop in sales and are demanding measures from the national and local government to prevent the closure of businesses.

For the president of the Chamber of Commerce of Tulcán, Alexander Chamorro, there are several factors that contribute to perpetuate this practice, among them, the devaluation of the Colombian currency and the influence of smuggling.

Faced with the exodus of customers to Colombia, Ecuadorian merchants try to defend their services, highlighting that the items offered on the Ecuadorian side are rigorously registered and are offered under legal processes. In addition, the products have the corresponding technical service.

Chamorro warned, however, that the closure of businesses on the Ecuadorian border is not a new phenomenon. He explained that of the total number of new ventures, 90% close after the fifth year of work, while only 10% remain.

With information from Sputnik

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