Ecuador country brief

A partnership that is growing.

Key engagement

Australia is a major investor in Ecuador’s 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

The relationship between Australia and Ecuador has expanded in recent years. Australian business engagement with Ecuador has been led by mining and resources companies. Greater investor certainty, abundant energy and water resources, and promising exploration results make Ecuador an increasingly attractive destination for Australia companies. People-to-people links between Australian and Ecuador, including students and travelers, continue to increase.

Foreign policy

Ecuador is a member of regional political and economic groupings including the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA), the Organization of American States (OAS), Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the Union of South American States (UNASUR), and the Community of Andean Nations (CAN). Ecuador is an associate member of Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay) and is an observer to the Pacific Alliance (Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru).

Australia’s foreign policy is guided by the Foreign Policy White Paper.

Fast Facts

  • Ecuadorian visitors to Australia (2017) — 1,200
  • Australian visitors to Ecuador (primary destination 2017) * — 4,100
  • Resident Australian population born in Ecuador (2016) — 2,200
  • Australian residents of Ecuadorian descent (2016) — 2,200
  • Ecuadorian students in Australia (2017) — 500

High level engagement

  • 2018 October — Ecuador’s Vice-Minister for Mines Fernando Benalcázar attended Melbourne’s International Mining and Resources Conference.
  • 2018 July — Minister for Trade Steven Ciobo met Minister for Foreign Trade Pablo Campana Saenz at the Pacific Alliance Summit in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
  • 2017 November — Ecuadorian Minister for Mining Javier Córdova visited Australia
  • 2017 September — Bilateral Senior Officials Talks led by Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Leonardo Arízaga, in Ecuador.

Agreements with Ecuador

  • Implementation pending — MoU on Work and Holiday
  • 2015 — MoU on Mining Cooperation
  • 2014 — MoU on Air Cervices
  • 2011 — MoU on Establishing Political Consultations

Public diplomacy

Ecuador is eligible for the Endeavour Leadership Program. Under the previous Endeavour Mobility Grants and Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships programs, 38 Ecuadorians have been offered opportunities to undertake study, research and professional development in Australia and 109 Australians have been offered opportunities to undertake a study experience in Ecuador.

In October 2016, Australia's Ambassador to Ecuador inaugurated the Australian contemporary art exhibition Fragil at Ecuador's most important cultural festival, the Cuenca Bienal. The exhibition, made possible with funding from COALAR and the Australia Council for the Arts, included works from four renowned artists and saw Australia take stage as the ‘highlighted nation' at the festival.

In 2018, the Council on Australia-Latin America Relations (COALAR) provided a grant to Somos 21 Limited to connect and collaborate with people and institutions in Ecuador.

Through the Direct Aid Program, the Australian Government provides financial support to projects in Ecuador. In 2017-18, the Direct Aid Program supported a project with a focus on economic empowerment of indigenous women. In 2016-17, a project supported recovery efforts after the 2016 Esmeraldas earthquake.

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

Economic diplomacy

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 Economic Factsheet for Ecuador.

Business

Opportunities to strengthen bilateral trade and investment ties exist in the energy and mining sectors. Ecuador has implemented an investor-friendly mining regime to take advantage of its good geology.

There is potential for Australian companies to invest in telecommunications services and equipment, infrastructure and information technology. Cooperation in agribusiness and tourism could also lead to further business opportunities. The educational services sector holds good potential.

Related links

* Ecuador reports the number of Australian visitors as 11,400 in 2017 (Ministerio del Interior).

Last Updated: 5 February 2019