Ecuador’s Response to Global Issues in 2022: Insights from President Guillermo Lasso

Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso discusses the impact of global issues like the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on his country and Ecuador's response.


Air Date: May 11, 2022

Moderator: His Excellency Guillermo Lasso, President, Ecuador

His Excellency Guillermo Lasso assumed office as the President of Ecuador in May of 2021, a stressful moment in recent global history. President Lasso began his role as government and health officials throughout the world were navigating the COVID-19 vaccine distribution. In the following months, he had to make consequential decisions about supply chain disruptions and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

President Lasso spoke as a keynote speaker on the second day of the U.S. Chamber’s 2nd Annual Global Forum where he discussed the current state of Ecuador and how the country is navigating these global issues.

Ecuador Is Asking the U.S. to Reassess Trade Agreements

During his keynote, President Lasso made a plea to the United States to reassess its current position of not negotiating new trade agreements.

“The existence of new agreements, especially with its partners, Latin America, and the Caribbean, would allow it to solve many of the problems that it went through in the first months of the pandemic,” said President Lasso.

He went on to discuss how opening the trade market would lead to the growth and development of countries in the Latin American region, such as Ecuador. Opening the trade agreement would also have an effect on the working population.

“The creation of jobs, thanks to the opening of trade, will have a positive impact and the reduction of migratory flows that increased dramatically due to the economic effects of the pandemic,” said President Lasso.

Ecuador’s Rapid COVID-19 Response Allowed It to Bounce Back Economically

When President Lasso assumed office, COVID-19 cases in the country had exceeded the capacity of the public and private health systems leading to significant loss of human life. When he first entered office, getting Ecuadorians vaccinated was one of President Lasso’s first priorities.

“The main objective was to immunize 9 million Ecuadorians within the first 100 days of government, a goal that was achieved ahead of schedule,” said President Lasso. “This was possible thanks to the diplomacy of vaccines. Administrative measures were performed along with the manufacturing companies and allied governments, including the United States, whose generous donation of vaccines was an important component in achieving the proposed goal.”

President Lasso said while the pandemic is not over, he will always act in the best interest of his people to keep them safe and the country’s economy stable.

“The decisions of my government are made progressively and on a scientific evidence basis,” he continued. “In that way, it is possible to correct the direction if necessary. Nevertheless, it is essential to think ahead with optimism and enthusiasm.”

Ecuador Has Imposed Sanctions on Russia

Many countries have imposed economic sanctions on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine. Ecuador is no different as it has stopped importing certain goods into the area, affecting the economy and supply chain.

“In the case of Ecuador, sectors such as roses, bananas, shrimps, and soluble coffee will all have an impact of around $1.2 billion because they cannot export to Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia,” said President Lasso.