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Economy, Foreign Trade

LAFTA, LAIA, Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Acuerdo, common market

The value of Ecuador’s yearly exports is generally somewhat higher than the cost of its imports. In 2000 the country’s exports earned $4.8 billion and its imports cost $3.5 billion. Export earnings from food products such as shrimp, cacao, and coffee accounted for 53 percent of the total, with 33 percent coming from sales of fuels, principally petroleum. Major imports included transportation equipment, machinery, metal, chemicals, and foodstuffs. The United States is by far the leading trade partner of Ecuador; considerable commerce also is conducted with Japan, a number of countries in the Americas, and many European countries. Ecuador, along with Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela, is a founding member of the Acuerdo de Cartagena (Cartagena Agreement), also known as the Andean Group. The group works toward common policies on energy, tariff reduction, industrial and agricultural development, political cooperation, improved internal and international trade, and the creation of a common market. Ecuador is also a founding member of the Latin American Free Trade Association (LAFTA) which was replaced in 1980 by the Latin American Integration Association (LAIA). The LAIA aims to improve the economic and social conditions in member countries by improving trade within the group, which includes most of the countries in South America. Ecuador was a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) from 1973 to 1992.

Article key phrases:

LAFTA, LAIA, Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Acuerdo, common market, Major imports, OPEC, cacao, agricultural development, shrimp, foodstuffs, European countries, social conditions, Venezuela, member countries, number of countries, transportation equipment, Peru, Colombia, Bolivia, international trade, food products, South America, founding member, percent, coffee, Americas, creation, Japan, chemicals, energy, metal, machinery, United States, total


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