Country Profile Ecuador

Jun 21, 2012 by Emmanuel Besserve

Country Profile EcuadorWhat is now Ecuador formed part of the northern Inca Empire until the Spanish conquest in 1533. Quito became a seat of Spanish colonial government in 1563 and part of the Viceroyalty of New Granada in 1717.

Capital: Quito    
Population: 14,573,101 (July 2009 est.)
Currency: USD                                      
Language: Spanish (official), Amerindian languages (especially Quechua)
Time zone: UTC-5
Government: Republic
Chief of State: President Rafael CORREA Delgado

  • Country Dialing Code: +593
  • Emergency numbers: 101 to contact the police    911 if you are in the capital of Quito
  • Voltage: 120V

Detailed country profile

ECONOMY

GDP real growth rate:

  • 6.5% (2011 est.)
  • 3.6% (2010 est.)
  • 0.4% (2009 est.)
  • 5.9% (2008 est.) 
  • 2.4% (2007 est.) 
  • 3.9% (2006 est.)

GDP-Composition by sector (2011):

  • Agriculture: 6.5%
  • Industry: 34.6%
  • Services: 59.5%

Labor force by occupation:

  • Agriculture: 27.6%
  • Industry: 18.8%
  • Services: 53.6%

Agriculture products:

  • Bananas
  • Coffee
  • Cocoa
  • Rice
  • Potatoes
  • Manioc (tapioca)
  • Plantains
  • Sugarcane
  • Cattle
  • Sheep
  • Pigs
  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Dairy products
  • Balsa wood
  • Fish
  • Shrimp

Industries:

  • Petroleum
  • Food processing
  • Textiles
  • Wood products
  • Chemicals

Exports:

  • $22.29 billion (2011)
  • $17.49 billion (2010 est.)

Export Commodities

  • Petroleum
  • Bananas
  • Cut flowers
  • Shrimp
  • Cacao
  • Coffee
  • Hemp
  • Wood
  • Fish

Main Export Partners (2009):

  • US 45%
  • Peru 7.7%
  • Venezuela 6.5%
  • Colombia 4.6%
  • Panama 4.6%
  • Chile 4.2%

Imports

  • $23.58 billion (2011 est.)
  • $19.3 billion (2010 est.)

Import commodities:

  • Industrial materials
  • Fuels and lubricants
  • Nondurable consumer goods

Import partners (2009):

  • US 25%
  • China 9.4%
  • Colombia 9.1%
  • Brazil 4.2%
  • Venezuela 3.9%

Ports and Terminal:

  • Esmeraldas
  • Guayaquil
  • Manta
  • Puerto Bolivar

Unemployment rate:

  • 4.2% (2011 est.)
  • 5% (2010 est.)

GOVERNMENT

Government Type:Republic

Executive Branch:

Chief of state: President Rafael CORREA Delgado (since 15 January 2007, reelected in April 2009)
Vice President Lenin MORENO Garces (since 15 January 2007)
Note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
Cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
Elections: the president and vice president are elected on the same ticket by popular vote for a four-year term

Legal system: civil law based on the Chilean civil code with modifications

GEOGRAPHY

Land Boundaries:Total: 2,010 km

Border countries:

  • Colombia 590 km
  • Peru 1,420 km

Climate:Tropical along coast, becoming cooler inland at higher elevations; tropical in Amazonian jungle lowlands

Terrain:Coastal plain (costa), inter-Andean central highlands (sierra), and flat to rolling eastern jungle (oriente)

Elevation Extremes:

  • Lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
  • Highest point: Chimborazo 6,267 m

Natural resources:

  • Petroleum
  • Fish
  • Timber
  • Hydropower

Environment and international agreement:

Party to:

  • Antarctic-Environmental Protocol
  • Antarctic Treaty
  • Biodiversity
  • Climate Change
  • Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
  • Desertification
  • Endangered Species
  • Hazardous Wastes
  • Ozone Layer Protection
  • Ship Pollution
  • Tropical Timber 83
  • Tropical Timber 94
  • Wetlands

Signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Environment and current issues:

  • Deforestation
  • Soil erosion
  • Desertification
  • Water pollution
  • Pollution from oil production wastes in ecologically sensitive areas of the Amazon Basin and Galapagos Islands

PEOPLE

Ethnic groups:

  • Mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 65%
  • Amerindian 25%
  • Spanish
  • Others 7%
  • Black 3%

Languages:

  • Spanish (official)
  • Amerindian languages (especially Quechua)

Religion:

  • Roman Catholic 95%
  • Other 5%

HISTORY

Express History

What is now Ecuador formed part of the northern Inca Empire until the Spanish conquest in 1533. Quito became a seat of Spanish colonial government in 1563 and part of the Viceroyalty of New Granada in 1717.

The territories of the Viceroyalty - New Granada (Colombia), Venezuela, and Quito - gained their independence between 1819 and 1822 and formed a federation known as Gran Colombia. When Quito withdrew in 1830, the traditional name was changed in favor of the "Republic of the Equator."

Between 1904 and 1942, Ecuador lost territories in a series of conflicts with its neighbors. A border war with Peru that flared in 1995 was resolved in 1999. Although Ecuador marked 25 years of civilian governance in 2004, the period has been marred by political instability. Protests in Quito have contributed to the mid-term ouster of Ecuador's last three democratically elected Presidents. In 2007, a Constituent Assembly was elected to draft a new constitution; Ecuador's twentieth since gaining independence.

Source: The world Factbook www.cia.gov

Tags
Ecuador
About The Author
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Emmanuel Besserve

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