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Introduction: What is now Ecuador formed part of the northern Inca Empire until the Spanish conquest in 1533. Quito became a seat of Spanish colonial government in 1563 and part of the Viceroyalty of New Granada in 1717. The territories of the Viceroyalty - New Granada (Colombia), Venezuela, and Quito - gained their independence between 1819 and 1822 and formed a federation known as Gran Colombia. When Quito withdrew in 1830, the traditional name was changed in favor of the "Republic of the Equator." Between 1904 and 1942, Ecuador lost territories in a series of conflicts with its neighbors. A border war with Peru that flared in 1995 was resolved in 1999....

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Economic Overview: At a Glance

The Ecuadorian economy is based on petroleum production, and agricultural production for domestic consumption and export. Principal exports are petroleum, bananas, shrimp, flowers, and other primary agricultural products.. Ecuador's reliance on these products has made it vulnerable to external price variations. Overriding economic difficulties stem from the country's weak financial sector, dependence on short-term capital inflows to finance the current-account deficit, overdependence on oil export receipts for fiscal revenue, tax evasion and wage indexation which obstructs progress in fighting inflation. Trade ...

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History: The Inca Empire and Spanish Conquest

Advanced indigenous cultures flourished in Ecuador long before the area was conquered by the Inca Empire in the 15th century. In 1534, the Spanish arrived and defeated the Inca armies, and Spanish colonists became the new elite. The indigenous population was decimated by disease in the first decades of Spanish rule -- a time when the ...

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Economy: Basic Economic Facts

GDP: $61.49 billion (2010 estimate)
GDP - real growth rate: 3.4% in 2010 (Central Bank estimate)
GDP - per capita: $4,296 (2010 Central Bank estimate)
Inflation rate: 3.5% (2011 forecast)
Population below poverty line: 35.1% (2008)
Major Industries: Oil, bananas, coffee, cocoa, tuna; flowers; shrimp farming; exotic fruits; timber.
Major trading partners: United States, Latin American countries, European Union, Japan, Korea.

Ecuador is the world’s leading exporter of bananas and a major producer of agricultural commodities and shrimp, in addition to ...

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Ecuador offers little archeological evidence of its preHispanic civilizations. Nonetheless, its most ancient artifacts -- remnants of the Valdivia culture found along the coast north of the modern city of Santa Elena in Guayas Province -- date from as early as 3500 B.C.. Other major coastal archaeological sites are found in the provinces of ManabĂ­ and Esmeraldas; major sites in the Sierra are ...

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Area Handbook Series
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