Canada - Ecuador Relations

Canada and Ecuador have maintained official bilateral diplomatic relations since 1960. However, our bilateral ties began at the beginning of the 20th century when Canadian railway engineers, mining experts and missionaries worked in Ecuador. Relations are constantly growing in the commercial, political, and cultural sectors, with approximately 25,000 Ecuadorians living in Canada, and 3,000 Canadians living in Ecuador.

Canada is represented in Ecuador by the Embassy of Canada in Quito and it has an Honorary Consulate in Guayaquil. Ecuador is represented in Canada by the Ecuadorian Embassy in Ottawa, and it has Consulates in Toronto and Vancouver.

Canada’s immigration processes for Ecuador are managed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s office in Colombia. There is also a Visa Application Centre located in Quito.

Bilateral relations between Canada with Ecuador are governed by shared values, including a commitment to prosperity, democracy, human rights, and an international rules-based system, as well as a vibrant exchange in education.

Prosperity

Bilateral trade, measuring $952.5M in 2021, is a rapidly growing and increasingly prominent dimension within the bilateral relationship. Commercial relations between Canada and Ecuador are complementary, especially with respect to the majority of trade of agricultural products: tropical fruits, flowers, cacao and seafood to Canada; and wheat, lentil, oats, barley and peas to Ecuador. In 2002, the double taxation treaty signed between Canada and Ecuador took effect.

Canadian Direct Investment in Ecuador, at $3.7B in 2021, has tripled in the last 5 years making Canada the largest foreign investor in Ecuador, largely due to investments in the natural resource development sector.

The Ecuadorian-Canadian Chambers of Commerce (sites in Quito and Guayaquil) promote commercial and cultural exchange between Ecuador and Canada.

Ecuadorian-Canadian Chamber of Commerce – Quito www.ccec.com.ec

Ecuadorian-Canadian Chamber of Commerce – Guatyaquil www.ecuacangye.com

International Assistance

Canada’s international assistance in Ecuador totalled $10.6 million in 2020-2021 via Global Affairs Canada’s programs, with a focus on supporting Venezuelan migrants and host communities, responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts, and strengthening democracy. Other government departments such as Fisheries and Oceans Canada have also been working with Ecuador.

Canada is particularly committed to supporting efforts in Ecuador and across the region to respond to the impacts of the Venezuela political and migration crisis. In June 2021, Canada organized the International Donors’ Conference in Solidarity with Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants. Part of the funding announced at the conference by Canada is directed towards humanitarian and development assistance to help facilitate access to quality education, sexual and reproductive health and employment opportunities for Venezuelan refugees and migrants as well as host communities in Ecuador. Global Affairs is also providing support for the advancement of inclusive migration-related policies and for the prevention of criminal activity linked to the exploitation of Venezuelan refugees and migrants in Ecuador. Canada also provides humanitarian assistance to vulnerable populations in Ecuador, including refugees and internally displaced persons.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada helped women and indigenous communities in addressing security, sexual and gender-based violence risks, and provided health information and food assistance to strengthen the response to the sanitary crisis. Canada also supported Ecuador’s vaccination campaign with a donation of 394,950 doses of Astra-Zeneca. A multi-country initiative implemented by the Pan-American Health Organization through Global Affairs’ Inter-American Program is currently providing access to COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics for vulnerable populations, including in Ecuador.

The Inter-American Program also funds regional projects to address sexual and gender based violence and barriers to sexual and reproductive health and rights. In addition, it works with Ecuador to improve access to civil justice and to implement electoral technical cooperation initiatives.

Canada is committed to strengthening democracy in areas such as political participation, open government and the fight against gender violence. Since 2015, we have been supporting training for Ecuador’s civil society regarding Open Government. In 2019, Ecuador became part of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), a tool to promote transparency and fight against corruption, launching the first Open Government Action Plan of Ecuador that same year.

In cooperation with civil society organizations in 2020, Canada provided support for training women on electoral participation and combatting gender violence during campaigning. Canada also provided significant funding ($350,000) to the Organization of American States Electoral Observation Mission for Ecuador’s 2021 general election.

The Global Issues and Development Branch contributes to inclusive growth by strengthening gender responsive financial systems. Global Affairs’ Partnership for Development Innovation Branch funds multi-country projects that support women in various sectors, notably by increasing their access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and by reducing the barriers for women exporters to participate in the global trade markets, including in Ecuador.

Canada also supports local civil society organizations with the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) whose priorities include human rights, democratic participation and sustainable development, with a particular focus on gender equality and vulnerable populations. The CFLI has been used during emergency situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Canada is committed to assist Ecuador in its efforts to preserve the environment. To this end, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans of Canada signed a cooperation agreement with the Ecuadorian National Direction of Aquatic Spaces (DIRNEA) to detect dark vessels involved in unreported, unregulated and illegal fishing activities in the Galapagos Island marine reserve.

Since 2019, FinDev Canada supported three financial institutions in Ecuador with loans totaling USD $26M for micro, small and medium enterprises, focused on empowering women entrepreneurs and fighting climate change.

The International Development Research Center also supports several research initiatives in Ecuador’s development sphere.

Education

We strengthen the ties and collaboration between our countries by sharing knowledge, creating links in the education sector based on new inter-institutional education partnerships and joint research. Canada continues to position itself as an attractive destination for Ecuadorian students, with a sustained increase in the number of Ecuadorians who studied in Canada each year, making it the fifth source of international students from Latin America in Canada in 2021. For additional information visit the Facebook page. Since 2009, the Canadian government has fostered the development of human talent through scholarships while strengthening the linkages between post-secondary institutions in Canada and Ecuador through scholarships, such as ELAP (Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program).