Canada and Ecuador have enjoyed official diplomatic bilateral relations since 1960. However, our bilateral ties extend back to the early 1900’s when Canadian railway engineers, mining experts and missionaries worked in Ecuador. Today our relationships are constantly growing in commercial, political, cultural and personal spheres with upwards of 100,000 Ecuadorians living in Canada and 2000 Canadians in Ecuador.
Canada is represented in Ecuador by the Embassy of Canada in Quito and also maintains an Honorary Consul in Guayaquil. Ecuador is represented in Canada by the Embassy of Ecuador in Ottawa, and also maintains Consulates in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.
Canada’s bilateral relations with Ecuador are driven by the three pillars of the Government of Canada’s Americas Strategy: prosperity; security; and democracy.
Canada’s trade relationship with Ecuador is complementary, with the bulk of trade in agricultural commodities: tropical fruits, cocoa beans, seafood and roses to Canada, wheat, lentils and barley to Ecuador. Bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and Ecuador totaled $ 565.8 million in 2014. Canada and Ecuador have a Foreign Investment Protection Agreement (FIPA) which came into force in 1997, and a double taxation avoidance agreement which came into force in 2002. Canadian companies are leading investors in Ecuador’s nascent mining sector, and the Canadian government was the primary contractor responsible for building the new $ 650 million Quito International Airport completed in February 2013. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs are an important dimension in the presence of Canadian investors in Ecuador with such programs actively supported by the Embassy.
The Ecuadorian Canadian Chamber of Commerce (Quito and Guayaquil chapters) are actively promoting and strengthening commercial and personal ties between Ecuador and Canada. Created in 2001 the Quito Chapter has over 70 active members in five different sectors. The Guayaquil chapter was created in 2003 and now counts 92 members, mostly from the sectors of tourism, agriculture and education.
Within Ecuador, security in the Northern provinces along the border with Colombia remains a major concern for the Government of Ecuador. The armed conflict in Colombia has pushed refugees as well as insurgent and drug-related activities across the border into Ecuador. Canada, alongside the Mancomunidad del Norte del Ecuador provided in 2014-15 training to refugees and local authorities on refugee rights and obligations in the provinces of Esmeraldas and Sucumbíos. With the NGO Fundacion Esperanza, Canada supported an awareness campaign against human trafficking for youth in Quito and Cuenca. For more information on Canada’s programming in Ecuador, see our Development Cooperation page. Both countries are also actively engaged in reconstruction and peacekeeping efforts in Haiti.
Canada supports democratic governance in the Americas through initiatives that help advance citizen-focused approaches to democracy building in areas such as political participation, freedom of speech and parliamentary accountability.
In October 2014, thanks to Canada’s support, the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC) inaugurated an Ecuadorian Chapter with local parliamentarians interested in improving legislation against corruption. More on Democracy support in Ecuador on our Development Cooperation page.
Canada and Ecuador also maintain bilateral relations in areas of common interest in multilateral forum such as the United Nations (UN) and the Organization of American States (OAS).
The growing bilateral relationship between Canada and Ecuador was recently highlighted by the high-level visit to Ecuador of former Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird in June 2014 during his last trip to Latin America, which resulted in the signature of an education agreement. The Ecuadorian Minister of Strategic Sectors and Minister of Mining went to Canada in March 2015, to attend the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada annual trade show and conference.
The Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program (ELAP) provides short term scholarship opportunities for students from Latin America and the Caribbean, including Ecuador, to study or conduct research in Canada. The program is predicated on Canadian and Ecuadorian institutional linkages which facilitate the creation of scholarship opportunities. These academic agreements help foster research collaborations and student exchanges.
In the fall of 2014 the Embassy hosted the Imagine Study in Canada education fair in Guayaquil and Quito in partnership with the Ecuadorian Canadian Chambers of Commerce. Twenty two Canadian academic institutions participated attracting more than 1000 visitors interested in studying in Canada. In 2015 the Embassy will organize education fairs in two cities: Quito on September 30th and Guayaquil on October 1st.
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