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Ecuador

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Ecuador country brief

Growing partnership with increased investment and mining links.

Key engagement

Australia is a major investor in Ecuador's developing mining sector. Education links are growing. Australia and Ecuador continue to work closely at the international level.

Outlook

Increased engagement by Australian companies as Ecuador continues to develop a sustainable and responsible mining industry.

Bilateral relations

Australian consular representation in Ecuador was established in 1968, seven years after the trade commission.

Australia’s Ambassador to Chile holds non-resident accreditation to Ecuador. Australia has an Honorary Consul in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Ecuador has an Embassy in Canberra.

People-to-people links between Australia and Ecuador continue to increase, including students, travellers and a large cohort of Australian alumni in Ecuador. A new Work and Holiday Visa arrangement between Australia and Ecuador commenced in 2019-20, giving young Australians and Ecuadorians the opportunity to travel and work abroad..

Foreign policy

Australia and Ecuador are members of the UN, WTO, IMF, and the World Bank. Ecuador is a Pacific Alliance Observer State, an associate member of Mercosur and a Consultative Party to the Antarctic Treaty, of which Australia is an original signatory.

Ecuador is a member of the Organization of American States (OAS), Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), Forum for the Progress and Development of South America (PROSUR), and the Community of Andean Nations (CAN).Australia's foreign policy is guided by the Foreign Policy White Paper.

Fast facts

Ecuadorian visitors to Australia ((2019 Dept of Home Affairs) # 2017)
1,500
Australian visitors to Ecuador (primary destination (2019 Dept of Home Affairs) #  
4,000
Resident Australian population born in Ecuador (2016 Census)
2,225
Australian residents of Ecuadorian descent (2016 Census)
2,153
Ecuadorian Working Holiday Makers visas granted (2019 Dept of Home Affairs)
57
Ecuadorian students in Australia (2019 Dept of Education)
586

# This data is owned by Home Affairs. It provides quarterly updates to this data on its website.

High level engagement

  • 2019 May – Ecuador Minister for Agriculture Xavier Lazo Guerrero visit to Australia 2019 and 2018 October – Ecuador Vice-Minister for Mines Fernando Benalcázar visit to Melbourne.
  • 2018 July – Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steven Ciobo visit to Mexico
  • 2017 November – Ecuador Minister for Mining Javier Córdova visited Australia

Agreements with Ecuador

Public diplomacy

Australia has supported Ecuador during the COVID-19 pandemic through the Direct Aid Program (DAP). The program funded local textile workers to produce 34.000 facemasks to assist the government’s response to the pandemic. Another project is assisting the economic recovery and addressing gender-based violence by training female producers in agricultural techniques and helping to plant groundcherry crops., Mobile eye and reproductive health clinics supported by DAP in 2017-18 delivered life-changing medical care to some of Ecuador’s most vulnerable and remote communities.

In October 2019, the Australian Embassy supported two Ecuadorian “Alumni Ambassadors” to attend the International Mining and Resources Conference in Melbourne.

Economic diplomacy

In January 2020, CSIRO helped deliver a course for journalists on responsible mining practices in three cities in Ecuador. The course covered the differences between small- and large-scale mining, environmental issues, and Australian approaches to community engagement.

In November 2017, the Australia-Ecuador Business Summit was held in Quito to promote Australia's expertise and capacity to support Ecuador's growing mining sector. The summit focused on Australian capability in mining exploration and early construction phases, particularly skills development, drilling and responsible resource management including water, the environment and community relations..

Further economic and trade information can be found in our Ecuador trade/economic fact sheet [PDF].

Business

Austrade aims to attract foreign direct investment into Australia. It also identifies market opportunities and promotes the capabilities of Australian exporters and education providers.

Ecuador’s government has recently taken steps to improve governance and introduce more transparency. It has secured financing from multilateral lenders to strengthen its economy.

Promising exploration results, abundant energy and water resources, and messaging from the government about further developing the mining sector have made Ecuador an increasingly attractive destination for Australian companies.

Opportunities to increase bilateral trade and investment ties exist in the energy and mining sectors once the government lifts a freeze on new mining tenements, as it has indicated. Ecuador has developed a new public policy on mining to attract greater investment to its underdeveloped mining sector and take advantage of its good geology. There may be opportunities in related sectors, such as educational services.

Austrade

Austrade offices

Australian Embassy in Chile

Isidora Goyenechea 3621, 9th, 12th and 13th flrs
Las Condes
Santiago de Chile
Chile

Tel: +56 2 2 550 3500

General: consular.santiago@dfat.gov.au

Facebook: Embajada de Australia en Chile y Ecuador

Twitter: @AusEmbCL

Travel

See Smartraveller for Information on travelling to Ecuador: smartraveller.gov.au

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