The Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC), considers that the Ecuadorian economy is one of the best performing economically in the region, thanks to the liberalization of the investment scenario, through the opening of free zones, which facilitates and it encourages maquila and allows the increase of incentives available for investment in existing national industries. 

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Description of the country's economic outlook


The Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC), considers that the Ecuadorian economy is one of the best performing economies in the region, thanks to the liberalization of the investment scenario, through the opening of free zones, which facilitates and encourages maquila and allows the increase of incentives available for investment in existing national industries.

For its part, the World Economic Forum qualifies Ecuador as one of the rapidly developing nations in Latin America, which has allowed it to position itself as a reliable destination for foreign investors who have participated in large airport and road infrastructure projects.

Another interesting aspect is its leadership as a member of the Andean Community (CAN), where it has achieved economic integration with Peru, Colombia, and Bolivia, establishing a free trade area among member countries. It also managed to consolidate important trade agreements with the European Union, the Andean Community and MERCOSUR, which allow access to a market of approximately eight hundred million consumers.

It is important to note that, thanks to its geographical location on the northwest coast of South America, it strategically shares borders with Colombia, Peru, the Pacific Ocean and their respective markets. Additionally, due to its geographical and meteorological characteristics, it has a great diversity of natural resources suitable for fishing, oil and wood production.

In this way, and aware of the importance of becoming more attractive to international investors, the Government implemented the Law for Productive Promotion and Attraction of Foreign Investments, with which it backs and supports international investment. He also promoted the creation of ZEDES, special areas that allow industry diversification, technology transfer, employment and foreign exchange generation, as well as the promotion of the country's export projects.

For its part, PROEcuador highlights on its website that, among the benefits that foreign investors can enjoy, in addition to preferential treatment, are:

  • Free market.
  • Free movement of capital.
  • Freedom of production and commercialization of goods and services.
  • Simplified structure for the approval of investments through the Strategic Committee for the Promotion and Attraction of Investments CEPAI.
  • Ecuador guarantees the security and freedom of mobility of investors.
  • It guarantees and allows private property.


Why invest in Ecuador


Strategic geographic location

According to the investment guide of PROEcuador, a Vice Ministry attached to the Ministry of Production, Foreign Trade and Investments, Ecuador is strategically located in the north of South America, on the Pacific Ocean coast and is well used for its good port infrastructure. In addition, it shares borders with Colombia to the north and Peru to the south.

It is significant to note that this nation, which has 81 microclimates, is located in one of the most productive agricultural areas on the planet, as it has stable climatic conditions with well-defined wet and dry seasons. Additionally, Ecuador has the highest concentration of rivers per square kilometer on the planet.

According to the government agency, the country's port system is made up of seven state ports and ten private docks, specialized in general cargo and oil. Among the most important are:

  • Port of Guayaquil that thanks to its advanced technology moves more than 20 containers per hour.
  • Port of Manta: It has a draft of 12 meters where ships of great length and capacity, such as post-Panamax ships, can dock.
  • Port of Esmeraldas: It is a crucial point and of great benefit for foreign trade due to its proximity to the Panama Canal.
  • Puerto Bolívar: Strategically located in the province with the highest banana production in the country called El Oro.

It is important to note that, thanks to low logistics costs, Ecuador becomes a very advantageous distribution platform within the region, with a significant volume of commercial traffic. In addition, the geographical location of the country facilitates access to the markets of Colombia, Peru, Bolivia and Chile in South America.

Clear rules for investment

Undoubtedly one of the most attractive aspects of the country is the clarity regarding investment, which has been reflected in its Constitution. Here, private investment in the economy is promoted, guaranteeing freedom to companies and making the State responsible for stimulating free competition and competitive markets.

The protection of private property is also established and the fulfillment of the agreed contracts is guaranteed. Likewise, national and foreign investors, belonging to the private sector, are allowed to participate through concessions or the privatization of state companies, in the construction and management of public works such as highways, ports and in the supply of basic services such as water. drinking water, electricity and telecommunications, which are currently managed by the State. Any investor who wants to execute a project with the Government must make a minimum investment of US $250,000 during the first year.

Investment Support

In order to promote foreign investment in its territory, several incentives were designed to investors, including:

  • Income Tax with the lowest and most profitable rates in the region.
  • A decrease of 10 points in the Income Tax rate when making investments in productive assets in the country.
  • The exoneration of the payment of the minimum advance of the Income Tax for up to 5 years, for the new companies that are constituted in the country.
  • Exemption from the payment of Foreign Currency Outflow Tax (ISD), for the payment of external credits, with a term greater than 12 months and with the rate authorized by the Central Bank of Ecuador.
  • Implementation of an additional 100% deduction for the calculation of income tax, regarding the depreciation of machinery used in cleaner production and the implementation of renewable energy systems such as solar or wind.

Trade Agreements and CAN

As a titular member of the Andean Community (CAN), accompanied by Peru, Colombia and Bolivia, they have managed to strengthen economic integration, achieving, for example, the eradication of tariffs among member countries and the creation of a free trade area. In turn, CAN provides multiple benefits for investors, including lower operating costs.

The CAN also signed a cooperation agreement with Mercosur, gaining four new associate members: Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Taking into account the economic policies that excluded competition since its formation, the CAN represents great opportunities for foreign investors.

In the same way, the nation has other agreements in force, such as:

  • Multiparty trade agreement with the EU
  • Partial Scope Renegotiation Agreement No. 29 between the Republic of Ecuador and the United Mexican States (AAA.R29 Mexico).
  • Economic Complementation Agreement No. 46 signed between the Republic of Cuba and the Republic of Ecuador.
  • Economic Complementation Agreement Chile - Ecuador (ACE Nº65).
  • Partial Scope Agreement of Economic Complementation between Ecuador and Guatemala (AAP.A25TM Nº42).
  • Partial Scope Agreement for Economic Complementation, to be signed between the Republic of Ecuador and the Republic of El Salvador AAP.A25TM 46 EL SALVADOR.

With this interconnection, Ecuador has established cooperation frameworks to strengthen trade and investment between members to facilitate trade in goods, services, public purchases and investments between the signatories.

Free trade zone

With the publication of the Organic Code of Production, Trade and Investment eleven years ago, the Ecuadorian government created the Special Economic Development Zones or ZEDEs. These areas are focused on industrial diversification, technology transfer, employment and foreign exchange generation, as well as the general promotion of export projects.

These zones are subject to trade, taxes and special financial regulations. Some of the benefits granted to the entities include the exemption from tariffs on imported goods entering these zones, exchange controls and special labor regulations, as well as 20 years of tax exemptions.

In this way, the areas authorized by the States are:

  • Eloy Alfaro, located in Manta, Manabí, specialized in the industrial and logistics sector.
  • Yachay, located in Urcuquí, Imbabura. Dedicated to the technological, industrial and logistics area.
  • Posorja, located in Posorja, Guayaquil, Guayas. Focused on logistics.
  • Del Litoral, located Guayaquil, Guayas. Focused on the technological and industrial area.
  • Quito, located Tababela, Quito, Pichincha. Expert in the Industrial and Logistics sector.

Maquila system

Covered under a VAT and export tariff exception regime, the maquila system allows the export of products from Ecuador with final added value incorporated in the country. These special conditions will be granted only when the production of said goods is exclusively for export. The system guarantees these favorable conditions in the long term, together with a policy of repatriation of profits and all foreign investment.

In addition, some special labor regulations are applicable to companies that operate under the Maquila system. Ecuadorian companies often lease their excess capacity and carry out assembly operations following the guidance and specifications of foreign companies.

Wide range of investment opportunities 

According to what was published on the Government page, the Ecuadorian economy stands out among the countries with the best economic performance in Latin America, having an annual growth rate of 7% in GDP and with a dollarized economy.

This nation has great diversity thanks to its more than 18,000 species of plants and more than 700 species of freshwater fish. This represents a profitable investment opportunity in sectors with potential technological applications, including the biotechnological industry, based on the country's biodiversity.

The multiplicity of microclimates, permanent solar luminosity, fertility of the land throughout four natural regions, and access to the Andean belt of minerals, are some of the factors that make Ecuador a propitious place to carry out any type of productive and commercial activity.

Recent investments in the country show the confidence of foreign investors and the great opportunities that Ecuador offers.


Main taxes

Below you can find some of the main taxes in Ecuador, if you want to know in detail the country's tax information you can download our Global Taxes App.



Corporate Tax

7% to 10%

Taxes on capital gains and dividends

5% to 35%

Inheritance and gift taxes


Value Added Tax / VAT


Employment taxes

5% to 35%

Personal taxes

Sectors of interest and market opportunities

These are the sectors that offer the most investment opportunities in the country and that have the support of the government for their development.


Information technology and telecommunications

The telecommunications sector in Ecuador has experienced constant growth in recent years. There is a growing demand for products and services in this industry, including multiservice access nodes, mobile phones, ADSL modems, mobile networks and optical fibers.

In accordance with the National Telecommunications and Information Technology Plan of Ecuador 2026-2021, of the Ministry of Telecommunications and the Information Society, an effort has been made to implement regulations that facilitate access to users, infrastructure and information technology competence.

For example, with the Organic Telecommunications Law (LOT) enacted in 2015, universal access to the Internet is established, making it a basic service that in principle would be subject to the same regulation as water, telephone and electricity services.

Similarly, with the National Telecommunications and Information Technology Plan of Ecuador 2016-2021, drawn up by the Government, it is expected to have an instrument that allows the planning and management of the telecommunications sector so that Ecuador in the year 2021 becomes in a regional benchmark in connectivity, access and production of ICT services, achieving indicators that demonstrate the economic and social development of the country.



Ecuador is considered the country with the greatest biodiversity with more than 81 microclimates and the highest concentration of rivers per km2 in the world. This gives Ecuador the privilege of having excellent weather conditions throughout the year and permanent light.

The agro-industrial sector is quite extensive in the Ecuadorian territory, where several products destined mainly for internal consumption stand out, such as corn, rice and sugar; while for export, palm oil, frozen vegetables and sugar stand out.

According to data obtained by the Ecuadorian Federation of Exporters of Ecuador ( Fedexpor ), the country sold USD 726 million mainly in products such as canned fruits and vegetables, fruits, cocoa derivatives and hearts of palm, last year. This impulse was mainly due to the fact that international consumers were inclined to consume foods rich in nutritional and immunological content.

On the page of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Aquaculture and Fisheries (MAGAP), the main markets for Ecuadorian products are the United States, CAN, and the European Union. This government entity, based on the figures obtained by the Central Bank, maintains that they closed last year with important sales such as bananas $3.2 billion, cocoa $806 million and broccoli $142 million.


Government Pro-Foreign Investment

The current legal and political framework of the Ecuadorian government is firmly aligned with the incentive for national production and attraction of foreign investment. Less than a year ago, the 'Law for Productive Promotion and Attraction of Foreign Investments' was enacted. This law mainly seeks to promote national strategic sectors.

Through the opening of the economy to foreign investment, it seeks to improve fiscal conditions and reduce obstacles to the generation of new businesses in Ecuador. This new regulatory framework drives and encourages investment in the region. In addition, it adds value to the production of goods and services and generates quality jobs. It should be noted that the new investment law also includes corporate tax incentives.

Additionally, Ecuador as another measure of its open economy, allows 100% foreign ownership of local companies, capital controls are limited, and companies can sponsor foreign employee visas. Many investors find that incorporating a company in Ecuador is the best way to penetrate the desired market. The process is simple and can be completed in a matter of weeks once all required documentation has been submitted.


Textile industry

The textile industry is the second largest employer in the country, after food processing. It is one of the oldest industries in the country. It was considered until the 1990s as an activity focused on the domestic market, but today this sector constitutes about 15% of non-oil industries.

According to information from the Business Directory of the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses-INEC, in Ecuador as of 2018, 8.38% of all registered companies were part of the manufacturing sector, occupying fourth place within the 19 important economic activities of the country, when obtaining total sales represented 21.43% and in the generation of employment positions 13.01%. We can then say that the Ecuadorian textile industry is the second sector that generates the most employment.

Another notable advantage in this sector is due to the fact that after the dollarization of the economy in 2000, the industry experienced a boom and has been increasing at a rate of 30.5% per year in terms of textile exports.


A Great Center of Commerce

Ecuador is an excellent commercial center and the national sectors of the region have experienced positive development in the last 15 years. The push by governments to integrate the nation into the global economy has resulted in Ecuador entering several strategic regional trade agreements and free trade agreements to avoid double taxation. In this way, the free market is allowed and, therefore, the growth of national exports, a key part of Ecuador's recent economic success, is encouraged. Ecuador continues to be a regional export leader in areas such as oil and agricultural products (bananas, roses and shrimp). The agricultural sector is one of the most developed national sectors in Ecuador and many world powers, such as the US, China and Russia have established commercial relations with Ecuador and are key importers of its products.

As mentioned, Ecuador has entered into strategic trade agreements, as such it has access to a market of approximately 800 million consumers. Some of these trade agreements include countries and regions such as the European Union, the Andean Community and MERCOSUR.


Provision of services

The service sector is the largest in the Ecuadorian economy, it covers areas such as commerce, gastronomy, tourism, transportation and communications and represents 56% of the nation's Gross Domestic Product, also highlighting professional, technical services. and administrative.

It should be noted that the profits of the service sector grew by 25% between 2019 and 2020, according to research carried out by Deloitte Consulting Group for large, medium and small companies in the services, industry and commerce sectors, here it was observed that 57% of 178 companies operating in the country distributed profits of up to $2,000 to their 45,109 workers last year despite the current health crisis.

Our advisors in Ecuador


ILP Global – Gallegos, Valarezo & Neira

Founded in 2000, ILP Global – Gallegos, Valarezo & Neira is a law firm specialized in providing legal, accounting and consulting services to national and foreign companies. The firm’s commitment to offering comprehensive and efficient legal solutions has allowed it to become a prestigious and recognized firm both in Ecuador and abroad.