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Doing business in Peru

An interview with José Luis Sarrio


How do you assess the outlook for your economy?

The outlook for the economy remains strong despite the slowdown in China, which replaced the United States as Peru’s key export market in 2011. The economy grew by 6.3% in 2012 and a similar result is expected this year. Demand for minerals from China remains key. Copper and gold account for around 23% and 22% of total exports respectively.

Peruvian businesses are the most optimistic about their economic prospects in the world according to the Q1 IBR results and in the 2012 Emerging markets opportunity index, Peru climbed to 15th place, up from 20th in 2010, an indication of how the economy is developing.

What are the top three strengths of your economy as a potential target for investors?

Peru has a young, dynamic population – 30 million people with an average age of 26 means the economy can still benefit from its demographic transition (where the share of working age people increases relative to dependents so proving a boost to growth). The size of the market is also increasing as these people become increasingly wealthy and therefore consume more. Finally, Peruvians have a sense of ownership and pride in our country and its development which translates into a very productive workforce.

What should business leaders be aware of when investing in your economy?

Investors should try to engage with a adviser who understands their business and the local market and, from day one, have their accounts completed for reporting and tax purposes. It is also a good idea to ask around about any specific sector, company or individual you are pursuing.

What sectors does your firm specialise in?

Mining, Real estate & construction and Hospitality & tourism.

José Luis Sarrio is Partner & International Business Centre director, Grant Thornton Peru.