Ecuador Business Opportunities

flag ecuadorEconomy driven by substantial petroleum resources, which in recent years have accounted for 50% of the country's export earnings and one-fourth of public sector revenues.  The country’s strategic location continues to attract investors and businessmen to the country.  Ecuador now has the U.S. dollar as its official currency.  It is the world’s largest banana producer.

Map of Ecuador
Key Industries:
Petroleum, Food Processing, Textiles, Wood Products, Chemicals
Key Imports:
Industrial Materials, Fuels and Lubricants, Non-Durable Consumer Goods
Key Exports:
Petroleum, Bananas, Cut Flowers, Shrimp, Cocoa, Hemp, Wood, Fish

Trade Environment

ecuador textilesIn 2016, the country’s leading markets for exports were  US 39.0%, Peru 5.1%, Chile 6.2%, Vietnam 4.3% and Colombia 4.3%.  Leading suppliers were US 27.1%, Colombia 8.3%, China 15.3% and Panama 4.9%.

The ManabÌ Free Zone, ZOFRAMA S.A. was created in order to work for the development of Ecuador.  The ManabÌ Free Zone was created under Ecuadorís Free Zone Law to look for an attractive approach that would permit and motivate investment in Ecuador, with generating a great number of jobs the primary focus.




Business and Market Sector Opportunities

Commodities - Agriculture • Telecommunications • Construction • Mining • Private Investment • Banking • Exports • Energy

Economic Background and Situation

Ecuador has substantial oil resources and rich agricultural areas.  Oil has been the dominant sector in the country’s economy since 1970.  Given the country’s primary exports (oil, bananas, and shrimp), fluctuations in world market prices can have a substantial domestic impact.

Over the last century, economic development depended on the exports of first cocoa and then bananas.  Now most recently, Ecuador has gained worldwide distribution for its cut flowers.

The country's chronically large foreign debt continues to weigh on economic growth.  Due to heavy borrowing in the boom years of the 1970s, the government found itself unable to meet foreign debt obligations by the late 1980s.  Even though Ecuador had resumed its foreign debt payments by 1989 and was again exporting oil, its economic future has remained uncertain, but the outlook is improving.  Lower oil prices in 2015 - 2017 have forced the country to reduce its budget twice.

Additional Resources:
American Chamber of Commerce Ecuador-Guayaquil   


Ecuador Fast Facts

Capital: Quito
Key Cities: Guayaquil
Population 16.3 million ('17 E)
GDP Growth %  0.2 (‘17 E)
-1.5 (‘16 E)
GDP 188.5 billion US$ ('17 E)
GDP per Capita 11,200 US$('17 E)
Inflation Rate (%) 0.7 (’17 E)
Exports 16.3 billion US$ (’17 E)
Imports   16.8 billion US$ ('17 E)
Exchange Rate
Local Currency-US$
U.S. dollar is the official currency
E = Estimate F = Forecast
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