Peru is a country of over 30 million multiethnic people. Peru has rich deposits of copper, silver, gold, lead, zinc, natural gas and petroleum. It is a very diverse country due to climatic, natural and cultural variation of its regions.
Perú is a multi-party democratic republic governed by an elected president and congress. Perú is divided into 25 regions, also referred as “departments”, subdivided into provinces which are made up of districts. Perú’s constitution, approved by a national referendum in 1993, increased the president’s powers and reduced Congress to 130 members from 240 under the previous 1979 constitution. The president is elected for a five-year term and can only seek re- election after standing down at least one full term. A majority vote of over 50 per cent of the votes is needed in the first ballot in elections in Perú, and if a majority vote is not attained, there will be an additional runoff vote.
On June 5, 2016, Pedro Pablo Kuczynzki, was elected as President, and the change of government took place on July 28, 2016. He is leader of the political party Peruanos Por el Kambio, or PPK.
Perú’s economy has shown strong growth over the past decade, triggered by market-oriented economic reforms, privatizations during the 1990s and measures taken to promote trade and attract investment. Economic expansion in recent years has been driven by construction, mining, private investments, exports, and domestic consumption. Perú’s economy is well managed, and better tax collection and growth have been increasing revenues, with expenditures keeping pace. Perú’s economic growth slowed in 2014 to 2.4%, which was well below the 5.8% growth seen in 2013 and marked the slowest growth since 2009, 3.3% in 2015, and decreased to 3.0% in 2016. In 2016, despite a slowdown in the economy on a global level, lower prices of commodities, and a context of political change in Perú, the Perúvian economy is one of the most solid in South American and is friendly towards investment. Latin Focus Consensus Forecast panelists expect the economy to grow 3.8% in 2017. Falling investment and subdued private consumption dragged on growth, although a large fall in exports was the main factor behind the deceleration. Weak global demand and low prices for commodity exports exerted significant pressure on the external sector last year, although a modest recovery in the mining industry is expected in 2016.
Perú has one of the strongest GDP growth rates and compared to its South American neighbors, Perú has one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America. GDP grew at a rate of 3.9% in 2016 (3.3% in 2015; 2.4% in 2014; 5.8% in 2013; and 6.0% in 2012), and is estimated to be 3.0% in 2017. Of this GDP, mining contributed 21.2% to the GDP growth by industry, and was the highest contributor to the GDP in 2016. Overall, mining contributed 10% to GDP in 2016.
Perú’s major exports are fish products, minerals (gold, silver, copper, zinc, and lead), agricultural products (coffee, asparagus), petroleum products, and textiles. Perú’s main export partners are China, United States, Switzerland, Canada and South Korea. Perú signed free trade agreements with both the United States (ratified in December 2007 by US Congress) and Canada (signed in January, 2008). Exports have grown at 6.3% annually since 2000, and totaled US$36.8 billion in 2016, with copper and gold exports at US$17.5 billion of the total. In the same period imports have expanded at an average 8.5% annually, thus outpacing the strong performance in exports in nominal terms.