Ecuador Trade and Foreign Investment

By | July 23, 2022


  • Business Relationships
  • Foreign direct investment
  • FTAs ​​and Treaties
  • Development Cooperation
  • Prospective fields of study (MOP)

Business relations

Trade relations with the EU

The EU is Ecuador’s 2nd most important trading partner in the case of imports of non-oil products and the 3rd most important in the case of exports of non-oil products. The most important export items are: bananas, shrimps and canned fish; the most important export items then: raw materials for industry, capital goods for industry and consumer goods.

  • Allcountrylist: Overview of major industries in Ecuador, including mining, construction, transportation, tourism, and foreign trade.

The volume of European exports saw a recovery after the pandemic. Imports increased mainly due to the main items – agricultural and food products.

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Exports from the EU (million EUR) 2,103.30 2,241.90 2,310.90 1,622.30 2,092.70
Imports into the EU (million EUR) 2,831.30 2,861.60 2,861.50 3,023.30 3,437.90
Balance with the EU (million EUR) 728 619.8 550.6 1,401.0 1,345.2

Source: European Commission

Trade relations with the Czech Republic

The most important export items are: passenger cars, electrical equipment for switching off, switching or protecting electrical circuits, machinery and apparatus for printing, textile corduroy from threads, mixtures of diagnostic laboratory reagents. In the case of imports, these are: bananas and plantains, canned fish, cut flowers, coffee and tea extracts and processed crustaceans and molluscs. In the case of exports, a significant recovery can be seen. Over USD 0.5 million was the export of Škoda passenger cars.

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Exports from the Czech Republic (billion CZK) 1.0 0.4 0.6 0.6 0.9
Imports to the Czech Republic (billion CZK) 0.4 1.1 1.2 1.0 1.0
Balance with the Czech Republic (billion CZK) -0.7 0.7 0.6 0.4 0.1

Source: CZSO

Trade relations with countries outside the EU

Both imports and exports saw a significant post-pandemic recovery in 2021.

The most important export partners outside the EU in 2021 were: China, USA, Russia and Colombia. The main non-oil exports were: shrimp, bananas, lead and copper concentrates, canned fish and cut flowers. The main import partners were: China, USA, Colombia and Brazil. The most important non-oil import items were: metal products, passenger cars, fertilizers, trucks and medicines.

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Exports from countries outside the EU (million EUR) 14 125.2 16 141.9 16,669.1 15,679.8 20,601.5
Imports to countries outside the EU (million EUR) 14 176.4 16,839.3 16,318.2 12,207.0 18,396.2
Balance with non-EU countries (million EUR) -51.1 -697.4 350.9 3,472.8 2,205.2

Source: EIU, Eurostat

Foreign direct investment

Foreign direct investment in the first quarter of 2021 amounted to USD 249.0 million (0.99% share of GDP), in the second quarter it was USD 11million (0.44% share of GDP). In the period April – June, the largest part went to services, followed by construction and manufacturing; by origin, FDI came from Switzerland, Mexico and the USA.

The largest Czech investment in Ecuador is Czech Brewery Pivovar C. Ltda. The company has so far invested approximately USD 3 million. In the city of Cuenca, the brewery has an exhibition of 2400 hl per year, where it has been brewing beer since 2017. It employs 65 people. It operates 4 pubs of the Golden Prague Pub brand in the cities of Cuenca, Guayaquil, Samborondon and the Galapagos Islands. In the fall of 2022, he plans to open 2 more restaurants, in Quitua and in the Galapagos.

FTAs and treaties

Treaties with the EU

In 2014, the EU and Ecuador signed a multilateral EU FTA with the countries of the Andean Commonwealth of Nations. The Accession Protocol entered into force on January 1, 2017. With immediate effect, tariffs were eliminated on 76% of 2,565 customs items imported from the EU to Ecuador. As for agricultural products, the import of 44.1% of items is liberalized for EU companies. As for industrial products and fishery products, the share of liberalized items is 62.3%. For Ecuador, the FTA means the right to export to the EU duty-free 99.7% of agricultural products and 100% of industrial products. Furthermore, the conditions for the possibility of participation of European companies in public contracts were also established. One of the important points of this new contract is the protection of so-called domestic employment, when in every EU company operating on the Ecuadorian market, which has more than 10 employees,

Contracts with the Czech Republic

In connection with the entry of the Czech Republic into the EU, the Trade Agreement between the Czech Republic and Ecuador was terminated. Agreements and provisions valid between the EU and Ecuador apply in a mutual relationship, respectively. EU and the Andean Community (CAN).

Bilateral contractual documents:

  • Framework agreement on cooperation between the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic and the Ministry of Electric Energy and Renewable Resources of the Republic of Ecuador (support for cooperation in the energy sector)
  • MOU between the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic and the Ministry of Industry and Productivity of Ecuador (support for economic, industrial and technical cooperation)
  • in June and July 2018, the Czech side submitted to Ecuador a draft Agreement on the Protection of Investments, or Agreements on the avoidance of double taxation

Developmental cooperation

In terms of cooperation with the Czech Republic, in 2021 a small local project “Increasing the economic resilience of 90 low-income women (and their families) from marginal neighborhoods in Quito through urban agricultural activities” was implemented in Ecuador. The MLP was implemented by the NGO Fundación Humana Pueblo and Pueblo Ecuador in 3 communities. Thanks to the support of the Czech Republic, smaller fields for the cultivation of fruit and vegetables were established and areas for poultry breeding were built. At the same time, the beneficiaries were introduced to the correct work procedures. In the time of Covid-19, the successful implementation of a project for a community is a way out of poverty. Before the outbreak of the pandemic, they were mainly engaged in sales in the center of the capital, and the related restrictions deprived them of the possibility of livelihood. By growing fruit and vegetables and raising poultry, they have gained a source of food and can sell the surplus.

The same NGO is also implementing a project in 2022, which follows on from the one mentioned above.

Prospective fields of study (MOP)

Ecuador is not included in the ILO.

Ecuador Trade