Ecuador. The smallest Andean country in South America.
Spectacular. Epic. Breathtaking.
But amidst this natural beauty and diversity is a nation that is breaking new ground.
Ecuador is a nation struggling to find itself, and there is no better time for American investors to consider its role in the country’s economic development.
At the center of Latin America and the world. This is Ecuador.
With one part lying in the southern hemisphere and the other in the northern, Ecuador is a small, oil-producing country in the Andean region of South America. It is a nation with vast resources and potential, one that is rewarding for investors as it is challenging.
Ecuador is situated along the equatorial line it is named after, bordering Colombia and Peru. The capital city is Quito, while its largest city is Guayaquil.
Ecuador is redefining its role within Latin America and the world, and it is its constant state of flux that has caught the eye of the international community.
Ecuador’s relations with the United States have traditionally been close, although recent events have strained bilateral relations. Negotiations for a bilateral free trade agreement with Ecuador have been suspended indefinitely in the wake of business disputes with the United States, and American concerns over President Rafael Correa’s populist tendencies and state-centered economic policies.
Ecuador remains a market with significant potential for U.S. firms. Ecuador adopted the dollar as its national currency, following a major banking crisis and recession in 1999. The United States still remains Ecuador’s principal trading partner, and Ecuadorians are looking forward to a period of cooperation and dialogue with the United States.
BANKING AND MICRO-FINANCE
The future of Ecuador lies not in the hands of large multinationals or major oil corporations, but rather in the hands of people like these who have decided to embrace the importance of humble entrepreneurship. All this is possible though micro-finance schemes that encourage small businesses to succeed.
In Ecuador, micro-finance is the ticket that gives the impoverished the means to raise themselves out of poverty and for their communities to grow toward economic prosperity while teaching the rudiments of credit.
Twenty years ago, a fruit farmer like Hinojosa Otavalo would never obtain the capital to manage and maintain a farm, as no major bank would have given out such a small loan, much less to a person without collateral. Now, Hinojosa has a positive outlook on his future.
The mythical Galapagos Islands. These scarred volcanic islands adrift from the Ecuadorian mainland are instrumental in changing humanity’s perception of itself. It remains one of the world’s best places for interacting with animals in the wild at close range, and a visit is a fascinating journey back through the history of time itself.
While the Galapagos is definitely a highlight of any trip to Ecuador, the mainland also has its share of riches. Visitors can admire the snow-capped Andes mountains and explore the wonders of the Amazon rainforest, all in the span of a day.
Ecuador is a sustainable paradise. Its commitment to protecting natural, cultural, and human diversity is the country’s main goal. Ecuador is considered to be one of the most diverse countries in the world, and its geographical, biological, and cultural diversity is unparalleled.
Ecuador is a land of contrasts. For better or for worse, change is imminent in this South American nation. “Este es Ecuador, la mitad del mundo”. The Center of the World.