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What is now Ecuador formed part of the northern Inca Empire until the Spanish conquest in 1533. Quito became a seat of Spanish colonial government in 1563 and part of the Viceroyalty of New Granada in 1717. The territories of the Viceroyalty - New Granada (Colombia), Venezuela, and Quito - gained their independence between 1819 and 1822 and formed a federation known as Gran Colombia. When Quito withdrew in 1830, the traditional name was changed in favor of the "Republic of the Equator." Between 1904 and 1942, Ecuador lost territories in a series of conflicts with its neighbors. A border war with Peru that flared in 1995 was resolved in 1999. Although Ecuador marked 30 years of civilian governance in 2004, the period was marred by political instability. Protests in Quito contributed to the mid-term ouster of three of Ecuador's last four democratically elected presidents. In late 2008, voters approved a new constitution, Ecuador's 20th since gaining independence. General elections were held in February 2013, and voters reelected President Rafael CORREA.


Western South America, bordering the Pacific Ocean at the Equator, between Colombia and Peru

Natural Resources

petroleum, fish, timber, hydropower

Population - distribution

nearly half of the population is concentrated in the interior in the Andean intermontane basins and valleys, with large concentrations also found along the western coastal strip; the rainforests of the east remain sparsely populated

Spanish (Castilian) 93% (official), Quechua 4.1%, other indigenous 0.7%, foreign 2.2%
Guayaquil 2.709 million; QUITO (capital) 1.726 million (2015)
Conventional long form
Republic of Ecuador
Conventional short form
Local long form
Republica del Ecuador
Local short form
presidential republic
Geographic coordinates
0 13 S, 78 30 W
Time difference
UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Ecuador is substantially dependent on its petroleum resources, which have accounted for more than half of the country's export earnings and approximately 25% of public sector revenues in recent years.
External debt stocks
US$ 27,272,532,000
Total tax rate (% of commercial profits)
Real Interest Rate
Manufacturing, value added (% of GDP)
Current Account Balance
US$ 1,413,832,066
Labor Force, Total
Employment in Agriculture
Employment in Industry
Employment in Services
Unemployment Rate
Imports of goods and services
US$ 19,219,016,000
Exports of goods and services
US$ 18,885,476,000
Total Merchandise Trade
FDI, net inflows
US$ 642,658,282
Commercial Service Exports
US$ 2,011,124,322
bananas, coffee, cocoa, rice, potatoes, cassava (manioc, tapioca), plantains, sugarcane; cattle, sheep, pigs, beef, pork, dairy products; fish, shrimp; balsa wood
petroleum, food processing, textiles, wood products, chemicals
petroleum, bananas, cut flowers, shrimp, cacao, coffee, wood, fish
US 39.5%, Chile 6.2%, Peru 5.1%, Vietnam 4.3%, Colombia 4.3% (2015)
industrial materials, fuels and lubricants, nondurable consumer goods
US 27.1%, China 15.3%, Colombia 8.3%, Panama 4.9% (2015)
Country Risk Rating
A very uncertain political and economic outlook and a business environment with many troublesome weaknesses can have a significant impact on corporate payment behavior. Corporate default probability is high.
Business Climate Rating
The business environment is mediocre. The availability and the reliability of corporate financial information vary widely. Debt collection can sometimes be difficult. The institutional framework has a few troublesome weaknesses. Intercompany transactions run appreciable risks in the unstable, largely inefficient environments rated B.
  • Significant mineral, oil, and gas potential
  • Almost energy self-sufficient thanks to hydroelectricity
  • Tourism potential (flora, fauna, cultural heritage)
  • Climatic diversity, enabling numerous types of crop
  • Marine wealth: world’s biggest exporter of prawns
  • Poorly diversified economy, dependent on oil
  • Inadequate infrastructures (roads, dams) and poorly qualified workforce
  • History of sovereign default
  • Weak private, domestic and foreign investment
  • State interventionism
  • Credit expensive and still underdeveloped
  • Opposition of indigenous populations and ecologists to the development of primary resources

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