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Canada-Ecuador relations

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Bilateral 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.

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 relations and joint research. In recent years, Canada has positioned itself as an attractive destination for Ecuadorian students, with a sustained increase in the number of Ecuadorians who study in Canada each year, becoming the third highest Latin American country to send students to Canada. For additional information visit the Facebook page. As of 2009, the Canadian government has fostered the development of human talent through scholarships, such as ELAP (Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program).

Trade relations

Bilateral trade, measuring $1.3 billion in 2022, a 35% increase from 2021, is a rapidly growing and increasingly prominent dimension within Canada and Ecuador’s bilateral relationship. Commercial relations between Canada and Ecuador are complementary, especially with respect to the majority of trade of agricultural products including tropical fruits, flowers, cacao and seafood to Canada; and, wheat, lentils, and peas to Ecuador. In 2002, the double taxation treaty signed between Canada and Ecuador took effect.

Sectors that the Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) has identified as priorities – that is, where Canadian capabilities and interest match local opportunities and demand – are agriculture, clean technology, education, extractives, and infrastructure. Canadian Direct Investment in Ecuador, at $2.6 billion in 2022, 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.

In November, 2022, Canada and Ecuador announced the launch of exploratory discussions toward a potential Canada-Ecuador Free Trade Agreement.

On December 13, 2023, the Hon. Mary Ng, Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development tabled in the House of Commons the Government's Notice of Intent to initiate negotiations for a Canada-Ecuador Free Trade Agreement.

Ecuador joined the Global Trade and Gender Arrangement (GTAGA) on May 15, 2023 as a means to work closely with Canada, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, New Zealand, and Peru to promote gender responsive trade policies and advance gender equality and women’s economic empowerment.

Ecuador joined the Inclusive Trade Action Group (ITAG) on May 15, 2023 in order to work together with ITAG partners (Canada, Chile, Mexico, and New Zealand) to help make international trade policies more inclusive in order to ensure that the benefits of trade and investment are more broadly shared.

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

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Development

Canada’s international assistance in Ecuador totalled $17.3 million in 2021-2022 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. Canada is supporting the ongoing migrant issue by providing 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  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. The Inter-American Program 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.

Partnerships and organizations

To develop effective responses to today’s most pressing global challenges, Canada and Ecuador work closely in multilateral fora, such as:

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