Ecuador - Country Commercial Guide
Market Opportunities
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Ecuador is a natural market for U.S. companies given Ecuadorians have a high level of brand awareness and associate U.S. products with quality.  Traditionally, U.S. companies have proven to be successful in Ecuador.  The fact that Ecuador is a dollarized economy is an advantage as well for many U.S. businesses and investors. 

Despite challenges, Ecuador’s economy offers many opportunities.  Ecuador has some of the most accessible and potentially lucrative extractive resources in Latin America.  Gold, silver, and copper deposits are located near the surface and the ore is high quality.  Petroleum deposits are conventional and stretch across the eastern provinces of Ecuador, with some limited offshore production.  Ecuador’s diverse microclimates, location on the equator, and rich volcanic soil permit the cultivation of a wide variety of high-value agricultural products year-round.  The banking system, while very conservative in its lending practices, is well capitalized and liquid.  Road infrastructure is adequate, although secondary and tertiary road access could be improved.  Guayaquil is the country’s major port, and Ecuador boasts several international airports with connections to the United States and regionally.

Recent Ecuadorian administrations have adopted a pro-business, pro-trade agenda and look to reform many of the country’s protectionist economic and commercial policies.  While political divisions frustrated the former Lasso administration’s reform agenda, the government actively courted investors and made some progress on improving the country’s business climate, making it more attractive to U.S. businesses.  Greater numbers of U.S. businesses have entered the Ecuadorian market in recent years and are bringing positive practices with them.  The Ecuadorian government is actively promoting large infrastructure projects as public-private partnerships (PPPs).  These include the refurbishment of an oil refinery, development of renewable projects (wind, solar, hydro, and biomass projects), electricity generation and transmission projects, and airport and road construction and improvements.  In the oil sector, the Ecuadorian government and the state-run oil company Petroecuador intend to find a private sector partner to increase production and reserves.  In the telecommunications sector, Ecuador is expected to auction spectrum for 4G and 5G bands in the near term.  There are also opportunities for private networks, artificial intelligence, rural connectivity, and cybersecurity applications.  

There are also significant opportunities within the Ecuadorian market for small-to-medium sized U.S. exporters across a range of products including in oil and mining equipment and machinery; renewable energy equipment and supplies; safety and security products targeted to commercial and residential markets; packaging machinery; environmental and waste management technologies; water resources equipment; medical equipment; and ITC products and services.  Franchising and brand licensing in Ecuador remain an attractive sector for U.S. companies.

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC, formerly the Overseas Private Investment Corporation-OPIC), and the Export Import Bank (EXIM) of the United States support U.S. companies in developing export markets and make inroads in key sectors such as renewable energy, telecommunications, transportation, and ports.