Geographically, Peru is the third largest country in the continent, divided into three main regions: the coast, the highlands, and the jungle, where 31 million people live.
Just as India is popularly associated with the Mughal tomb Taj Mahal, the image of the ancient Incan Citadel of Machu Picchu is one of the first things that come to mind when people across the world talk about Peru. However, while Machu Picchu is undeniably one of the most globally-known tourist destinations, even considered as one of the seven modern wonders of the world, its notoriety can sometimes underplay the many other assets that make Peru a unique country.
Peru is located on the Western Coast of South America, bordering the South Pacific Ocean on the West; Bolivia and Brazil to the East; Chile to the South, and Ecuador and Colombia to the North. It is ten and a half hours behind Indian time and our main language is Spanish. English is usually spoken in business and touristic areas. Geographically, Peru is the third largest country in the continent, divided into three main regions: the coast, the highlands, and the jungle, where 31 million people live.
The coast represents 12% of the Peruvian territory. It is a narrow strip of desert intersected by rivers, open beaches, and fertile valleys. Around 7.5 million Peruvians live in Lima, the capital of our country, and more than half of the nation (52%) lives along the coast. The highlands represent 28% of Peruvian territory, dominated by the Andean Mountains that are parallel to the Pacific Ocean. Around 36% of the people live in this region. The Amazon Rainforest represents nearly 60% of the territory and it is the richest and most varied tropical rainforest and one of the great natural reserves on the planet. Approximately, 12% of the nation lives in jungle areas.
Peru’s Trade Ties with the World
Peru is in the forefront in the trade of several products, with copper, gold, silver, zinc and other minerals as our prime exports. Peru is also the largest exporter in the world of quinoa, fresh and processed asparagus, organic bananas and mangoes, and the second largest exporter of grapes to India. Given our large diversity of agricultural exports, Peru can be found on almost every table around the world, with many products such as grapes, avocados, citrus fruits, lentils, seafood and many more. Following more than a decade of record-high growth, Peru’s economy has remained strong and resilient, despite the end of the commodities boom. In 2017, GDP growth reached 2.5%, one of the highest in the region. Inflation is under control, with Peru having one of the lowest rates in Latin America. All of this is sustained by our strong macroeconomic fundamentals, supportive trade and policy management, and a steady tax regime.
Till date, Peru has signed a wide range of commercial agreements, totaling 19 that have entered into force. Our partners include countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. These agreements have facilitated our trade in manufactured products and services, attracted foreign investments, streamlined sanitary and phytosanitary processes, just to mention a few benefits. In September 2016, Peru and India concluded the joint feasibility study for an agreement in trade of goods, services, investments and cooperation. This study revealed the potential of India to expand bilateral trade with Peru and vice versa. It also concluded that both economies are complementary. The first round of negotiations for this agreement started in August 2016. The third round is expected to be held in November 2018. The sole fact that such an agreement is being negotiated can help boost trade relations between India and Peru and consolidate India’s presence in Latin America.
Peru’s Trade with India
The total value of trade between Peru and India increased substantially (60%) between 2016 and 2017. Remarkably, the Peruvian exports in that period grew in value by an astonishing 110%. These figures underscore the fact that Peru–India trade relations are stronger today than ever before.
All seems to indicate that these positive trends in trade are still going strong in 2018. Total bilateral trade between January and May of this year has increased in 44% in comparison to the same period in 2017. In the first quarter of 2018, Peruvian exports to India from the mining sector grew by almost 82%. The main products that favored this growth were gold and copper. As for gold, in the first quarter of 2018, Peru exported almost USD 438 million, while in the same period in 2017, Peruvian exports of this product reached only USD 222 million (a growth of 97%). As for copper, in the first quarter of 2018, our exports reached USD 132.62 million, while in the previous year they were only of USD 90.54 million, representing an increase of 46.5%.
Peru is also a very attractive market for foreign investments, having a leading position in Latin America with important private investment projects in sectors such as mining, hydrocarbons, agriculture, among others. Peru is now considered to have one of the most open investment regimes in the world and is a very attractive destination for Indian investors because of its stable, predictable and transparent regime for foreign investments, based on the principle of “national treatment”. According to the Peruvian Constitution, domestic and foreign investments will receive the same treatment rules.
Despite the distance, language and cultural differences, some Peruvian companies are making or seeking investments in India, which belong to the mining, civil engineering, machinery and product marketing sectors, among others.
On the other hand, Indian companies that operate in the Peruvian market have been identified in sectors such as automotive, pharmaceutical, health, IT, cinemas, among others. These Indian companies generate jobs, contributing to our country’s economic growth.
Experience the richness of Peru
Talking about tourism, Peru has many natural and cultural treasures that have fascinated people for hundreds of years. There are hundreds of reasons to visit Peru which is arguably one of the richest countries in the world in terms of natural beauty, history, culture, culinary tradition, and many other assets. It is no surprise that Peru has been recognized as the “Best International Emerging Destination” twice in the last three years by the Lonely Planet Magazine, one of the most prestigious magazines in the travel world. Peru is home to eleven UNESCO World Heritage sites which include the world-famous citadel of Machu Picchu, the Incan capital of Cusco, the White City of Arequipa, and the Nazca Lines, the mud citadel of Chan Chan, the Sacred City of Caral, and the Manu National Park, among many others. From the snow-capped mountains in the Andean highlands, across the Pacific coastline, to the rich history of the Incan civilization, Peru is a living showcase of vast geographic and cultural diversity. The country has one of the most diverse geographies in the world, which includes our sea, blessed by the rich waters of Humboldt current; a coast that has seen many ancient cultures flourish; the Andes, the second highest mountain range in the world, and the magnificent Amazon forest, home to more than 10 million animal species. Peru is a melting pot of cultures of all over the world, whose influence is reflected in their
world-renowned cuisine. Thousands of years of tradition, unique products, and Peruvian people have made Peru what it is today.
Peru is an extraordinary country when it comes to gastronomy and, has been recognized as the World´s Best Culinary Destination for the last six years by the World Travel Awards. More than 50 varieties of corn, 350 registered varieties of chilies of all shapes and colors, more than 3,000 kinds of quinoa, and almost 4,000 different kinds of potatoes, are just some of the products that Peru has bequeathed to the world.
Recently, Peru launched the sectorial brand “Super Foods Peru” to promote Peruvian products that feature important nutritional properties. Among the many superfoods they have, one can name, among others, quinoa, kiwicha (amaranth), maca, yacón, sacha inchi, purple corn, camu camu, and anchovy.
As has been shown, Peru is unique in more than one way and is definitely much more than Machu Picchu. However, only by visiting the country can one truly experience its richness. Citing Pandit Nehru, “There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”