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In common with many of its South American neighbours, Ecuador has experienced an economic boom since the start of the 21st century. Increased political stability, sustained exploitation of natural resources and a growing middle class has helped output grow at impressive levels, lifting millions out of poverty. The country has also benefitted from the use of the US dollar as local currency after a banking crisis devalued the Sucre. This has ensured that inflation is kept to a reasonable level, and was maintained after the assumption of leftist president Rafael Correa to power in 2007.
Exports of raw materials account for a significant percentage of Ecuador’s economy. Oil is one of the biggest industries, with 40% of exports coming from related products. Agriculture too is a key sector for the local economy; Ecuador is the world’s principal exporter of bananas, and also produces in massive quantities products such as flowers, coffee, and cocoa. Tourism is also important within the country, with sights such as the unique Galapagos Islands, the Ecuadorian Amazon and beaches on the Pacific Coast all attracting visitors.
Despite this exploitation of resources, there is also a strong commitment towards ecology and sustainability. The nation was the first in the world to recognise the rights of nature in its constitution, and currently nearly 20% of the land is protected. This sustainable growth has seen Ecuador top rankings such as the Happy Planet list, which measure both economic and environmental vitality, and make the nation at the top of South America a vibrant and refreshing place to do business.
The dialects of Spanish spoken in Ecuador have most in common with other countries along the pacific region of South America, such as Peru and the west of Colombia. It is worth bearing in mind that local indigenous languages like Kichwa are still spoken in the remoter regions, and more informal speech and writings may incorporate elements of similar tongues within Spanish.
While the written Spanish in Ecuador is more neutral than that found in many other countries of the region, such as Chile, Argentina and Paraguay, it is still advisable to seek a local translator should you wish to prepare documents and texts for use within the nation. This will ensure that your message is understood as broadly as possible, with no margin for error or cultural misunderstandings.
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