Ecuador is a country in Northwestern South America, with a Pacific Ocean coastline, lying on the Equator between Colombia, to the northeast, and Peru. Spanish is the official language and is spoken by a majority of the population, though thirteen Amerindian languages are also recognized, including Quichua and Shuar. The capital city is Quito, while the largest city is Guayaquil. In reflection of the country's rich cultural heritage, the historical center of Quito was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978.
Ecuador has a developing economy that is highly dependent on commodities, namely petroleum and agricultural products. The country is classified as a medium-income country. Ecuador's economy is the eighth largest in Latin America and experienced an average growth of 4.6% between 2000 and 2006. The country was able to maintain relatively superior growth during the crisis. The country also has potential for the industry in a variety of sectors, including domestic production of raw materials and manufactured textiles, mining, chemical, petrochemical, and oil refinement. Power generation is also a potential sector that is starting to be developed due to Ecuador's high water potential in various sectors of the country; the development of products based on the melting or glass materials, production and agro-processed foods, and pharmaceutical production, among others. The most relevant project currently under development is the Pacific refinery, located in Manta, which will be one of the largest in the region.