Peru has been the fastest growing economy in Latin America over the last decade, posting positive rates for 18 years until last year, despite the global slowdown since 2012. The country was thereby able to record an average annual growth rate of 5.9% in the period 2005-2015, almost double the regional average of 3%.
According to the National Institute of Statistics and Informatics (INEI), the poverty rate decreased by 36% between 2004 and 2015, from 58.7% to 21.8%. Furthermore, according to the same body, the Gross Domestic Product grew by 3.9% in 2016.
The Peruvian Andes have large mineral deposits, which were wisely exploited for centuries. This country has the largest reserves of silver in the world, as well as the largest gold, lead and zinc reserves in Latin America, according to the Ministry of Energy and Mines. In 2016, 2.35 million tons of copper were exported; 4,374 tons of silver, and 153 tons of gold.
In addition, the Peruvian Amazon contains rich deposits of oil and natural gas, as well as forest resources. Furthermore, the coast is renowned for its maritime resources and export-oriented agribusiness, with leading products such as asparagus, blueberries, table grapes, avocados, organic bananas and paprika.
Among the priorities of the new government is to guarantee access to drinking water for all Peruvians by 2021 – the year of the bicentennial of Peru's independence – and to increase access to sanitation services. President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski has also set out to counter inequality by improving the level of social services – in particular education and health – and to promote development in rural areas.
Following this policy, the government budget allocated for the year 2017 amounted to 142.5 billion soles – an increase of 4.7% over the previous year –, prioritizing five areas: national security, justice, education, health and infrastructure, with education receiving the largest allocation (18.4% of the total). Financing for water and sanitation projects increased 71.6%.
In order to maintain the region's leadership in economic growth, the government has been implementing measures to reduce bureaucratic barriers to investment, encouraging the establishment of small companies and stimulating capital investment in infrastructure, especially in projects aimed at facilitating the diversification of key sectors. This is expected to create some 3 million jobs over the next four years.
Peru has an extensive network of trade agreements, which generate opportunities to develop our exports and the business sector. These mark us out in the region as a country that has not only been concerned about supplying its products to the international market, but also about showing opportunities in our internal market, helping reduce costs for our consumers and for our domestic production.
Peru currently has trade agreements with the main economies of the world, such as the United States, China and the European Union. It also belongs to trade blocks such as the Asia-Pacific (APEC) Economic Cooperation Forum and the Pacific Alliance.