If you want to do business, it is necessary to understand the work culture. I outlines some general details in the previous page that relate to all people looking for work. The information below should help you to promote your enterprise.
Contacts (la palanca)
A very important part of doing business in Ecuador is forging good relationships. It is very common for people to favour a friend, family member or simply a long-term associate when awarding a contract. Many Ecuadorians do not see anything wrong in this and money does not necessarily change hands. The presentation of small gifts, paying attention to your appearance, being warm and friendly and displaying a lot of patience can all help to build up your standing. Finally, when you have established your contacts, don´t be afraid to use them, because everyone else will.
Obviously there is a very fine line between an acceptable use of la palanca (leverage) and behaviour which is unethical in any culture, which brings us to..
Corruption is widespread and this also makes it hard to trust your partners. It is necessary to monitor business activity and the actions of employees carefully in order to remove the potential for this. Many people expect or try to lever a kickback for awarding you a contact, providing financial support or processing a payment depending on their position. Transparency International rates Ecuador very poorly in this area and it is going to require a long and concerted effort by all citizens and foreigners doing business to make a change.
Useful Information about Ecuador
Oil, Bananas, Tinned Fish, Shrimp, Natural Flowers, Cacao
+ Tuna and other fish, Metal products, Vegetable Oils, Fruit Juices and Preserves, Leather, Plastic, Rubber Products, Coffee
Products with further export potential
Fruit (pineapple, mango, papaya)
CORPEI (Corporación de Promoción de Exportaciones e Inversiones) is a government body which promotes exports and encourages foreign investment.
Chambers of Commerce (Cámara de Comercio)
US-Ecuador Chamber (Cámara de Comercio Ecuatoriano Americana)
Canada-Ecuador Chamber (Cámara de Comercio Ecuatoriano Canadiense)
UK-Ecuador Chamber (Cámara de Industrias y Comercio Ecuatoriano Británica)
Quito Chamber (Cámara de Comercio de Quito)
Guayaquil Chamber (Cámara de Comercio de Guayaquil)
Find more links at www.ecuadorexports.com/esp/camaras.htm
Ministry of Industry and Productivity