Peru beckoning PH companies

by Jennifer A. Ng, BusinessMirror

Posted at Feb 11 2013 07:30 AM | Updated as of Feb 11 2013 03:30 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine companies have been invited to invest in Peru by a leading member of the Apec Business Advisory Council (Abac).

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) is a regional bloc among whose members are Peru and other South American countries, as well as the United States and the Philippines and other Asia-Pacific nations.

Enrique Gubbins, co-chairman of Abac and also chairman of the board of Sudamericana de Fibras, said his country offers huge opportunities in mining, fisheries, agribusiness, manufacturing, tourism, infrastructure and retail.

Peru’s economy is said to be growing at 6 percent a year.

Gubbins said Peru is one of the world’s richest countries and only 20 percent of its territory with mining potential have been explored. He added that it is an important producer of minerals such as gold, zinc, tin, lead and copper.

Peru’s manufacturing industry is also ideal for foreign investors, he added, citing the country’s strategic location, high-quality raw materials especially for the textile industry, access to energy resources and slew of free-trade agreements (FTAs).

“The Peruvian industry has grown and diversified in a context of low tariffs. The value manufacturing GDP [gross domestic product] increases as the average tariff falls. Our manufacturing sector has grown in a context of lower tariffs,” Gubbins recently told a business forum.

He identified the United Kingdom, Spain and the United States as the top foreign investors in Peru. The largest share of foreign investments was received by the mining,finance and communications sectors.

Apart from investments, Gubbins said, trade is also an economic growth engine for Peru.

“From 1995 to 2012, exports grew a total of 890 percent and imports, 525 percent. This presents the outstanding performance of our trade flows. During the last 10 years, we had an average yearly growth of more than 20 percent,” he added.

Data indicate that Peru’s top imports include fuels, machinery, electronic equipment, plastic products and vehicles.