Canada - Ecuador Relations

Bilateral Relations

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 relationship is constantly growing in commercial, political and cultural spheres. We also have growing people-to-people ties, thanks to the 25,410 Canadians of Ecuadorian origin, and the 5,000 or so Canadians residing in Ecuador.

Canada and Ecuador enjoy a shared commitment to free trade, fighting corruption, and promoting social inclusion and human rights, particularly those of disabled persons, indigenous groups and women.   

The bilateral relationship was further bolstered by the meeting between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Lenin Moreno held on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2017.

Canada and Ecuador also share a common approach in multilateral forum such as the United Nations (UN) and the Organization of American States (OAS).

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.

Trade and Investment

Trade and investment between Canada and Ecuador are a positive and growing aspect of our bilateral relationship. Ecuador is Canada’s sixth largest trading partner in South America. In 2017, bilateral trade between Canada and Ecuador totalled $522.6 million. Canadian exports totalled $311.5 million (mainly wheat, paper products, vegetables, machinery and vehicles). Canadian imports totalled $211.1 (mainly fruits and nuts, live trees and plants, cocoa, fish and seafood and preserved foods). Canada and Ecuador have a double taxation avoidance agreement which came into force in 2002 and an air transport agreement that came into force in 2018.

Canadian companies are leading investors in Ecuador’s nascent mining sector, which is a key area of continued growth for our economic relations. Canadian mining companies have invested in Ecuador with a long-term vision that supports a socially and environmentally responsible mining industry.  Canadian mining assets in Ecuador were $525 million in 2016. The estimated potential Canadian investment in the sector is at $32 billion over the next 20 years, once the largest projects are developed and in production.

The Ecuadorian Canadian Chamber of Commerce (Quito and Guayaquil chapters) is actively promoting and strengthening commercial and personal ties between Ecuador and Canada.

Academic Relations

Canada and Ecuador have both undertaken initiatives to encourage a greater flow of academic exchanges. As a result, 1,080 Ecuadorian students were studying in Canada as of December 31st, 2017, for a period of six months or more; this represents a 27% increase from 2016. In June 6, 2014 a Cooperation Agreement was signed between Ecuador’s Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation (SENESCYT) and CALDO to finance High Study Abroad. Canada’s Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program (ELAP) launched in 2009 provides students and researchers from Latin America and the Caribbean with short-term exchange opportunities for study or research at the college, undergraduate and graduate levels in Canada. Between 2010 and 2016, 126 students from Ecuador participated in the Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program (ELAP).

Technical and other Assistance

Immediately following the April 2016 earthquake in Ecuador, Canada provided a $2 million donation to support humanitarian partners on the ground. Additionally, the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI), managed by the Embassy in Quito, is supporting local projects. Current CFLI funding promotes human rights, democracy and ecological sustainability. The Anti-Crime and Capacity Building Program (ACCBP) is providing modest support to combat human and small arms trafficking as well as the smuggling of illicit drugs and precursor chemicals in Ecuador.

The Partnerships for Development Innovation Branch is implementing the Strengthening Capacity and Innovation through Volunteer Expertise (STRIVE) project to improve the performance of the small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) sector and support a business-enabling environment in Ecuador. Through STRIVE, the Canadian Executive Service Organization is working with the Canada-Ecuador Chamber of Commerce in Guayaquil, the Canada-Ecuador Chamber of Commerce in Quito and the Council of Manufacturing Chambers of Associations of Ecuador to improve the business support services offered by the chambers to their members and the chambers’ long-term sustainability. To this end, 270 individuals (including staff and members of the chambers, municipalities and independent businesses) have thus far received training in the following areas: business support services and institutions, urban development and management, local economic development, tourism as well as hospitality and governance.

May 2018