Ecuador country brief

A partnership that is growing.

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

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. The Work and Holiday Visa arrangement is giving young Australian and Ecuadorians the opportunity to travel and work abroad beginning in 2019-20.

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

  • 2019 May — Ecuador’s Minister for Agriculture Xavier Lazo Guerrero attended the Australian Banana Industry Conference
  • 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

  • 2017 — MoU on Work and Holiday
  • 2015 — MoU on Mining Cooperation
  • 2014 — MoU on Air Cervices
  • 2011 — MoU on Establishing Political Consultations

Public diplomacy

Through the Direct Aid Program (DAP), the Australian Government continues to provide financial support to development projects in Ecuador each year. For example, mobile eye and reproductive health clinics supported by DAP in 2017-18 are delivering life changing medical care to some of Ecuador’s most vulnerable and remote communities. Likewise, indigenous women have the opportunity to improve their income through value-added agriculture production thanks to new DAP-funded equipment and training.

In May 2019, the Australian Embassy funded its first Ecuadorian “Alumni Ambassador” to attend the “Sustainable Development in the Minerals Industry Conference” in May in Australia.

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.

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.

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

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

Travel

Smartraveller: Ecuador

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

Last Updated: 3 September 2019