Political relations between Ecuador and Germany go back a long way. The most important issues in bilateral relations are trade and investment, development cooperation, environmental policy and the dual system of vocational training.
The visit by Federal President Frank‑Walter Steinmeier in February 2019 was able to build on the resumption of development cooperation, which had been temporarily interrupted, in September 2017, and served to intensify bilateral relations.
Of Germany’s political foundations, the Friedrich‑Ebert‑Stiftung, the Hanns Seidel Foundation and the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation currently have offices in Ecuador.
Within the European Union, Germany is one of Ecuador’s most important trading partners. German exports to Ecuador in 2018 were worth 480 million US dollars, its imports from Ecuador 503 million US dollars.
Since 1977, Quito has been home to a German‑Ecuadorian Chamber of Industry and Commerce. As well as its Embassy, Ecuador maintains an Institute for Export and Investment Promotion (PRO ECUADOR) in Germany and has had a Consulate General in Hamburg since 1993. The Multiparty Trade Agreement between Ecuador and the European Union, which entered into force on 1 January 2017, has given economic relations considerable momentum.
Germany is one of Ecuador’s largest bilateral donors of development cooperation. The most recent bilateral intergovernmental negotiations on development cooperation were held in Berlin in October 2018. The two priority areas of German‑Ecuadorian cooperation are protection of the environment/natural resources and state, democracy and participation.
The main intermediaries in cultural exchange between Germany and Ecuador are the Humboldt‑Gesellschaft/Goethe‑Zentrum in Quito, the German‑Ecuadorian Cultural Centre in Guayaquil and the German schools in Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca.
Cooperation at university level is promoted primarily through short‑term research scholarships, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) scholarships and lecturer exchange programmes. The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation, DFG) is conducting a mountain rainforest research project in the Zamora, Chinchipe and Loja provinces; three Ecuadorian and eight German universities are currently involved in the project.