LIMA, Peru — November 11, 2019 — Peru’s Export and Tourism Promotion agency (PROMPERÚ) reports the Peruvian economy has strengthened at a rapid pace over the past several years, with exports and international tourism leading the way. Driving that growth is an increasingly stronger trade relationship with the United States, with Americans purchasing more and more products from Peru – leading to an 8.9-percent increase in the value of exports from 2009 to 2018 — and also choosing travel to the country more often — with a 7.1-percent increase in American visitors from 2014 to 2018.
“We are proud to see the demand for Peruvian products continue to increase and achieve a high demand within the U.S. market,” said Edgar Vasquez Vela, Peru’s Minister of Trade and Tourism. “Not only do we see that Americans are buying more of our products, but they are also coming to visit Peru in record numbers on vacation and to see family members throughout many regions of the country.”
High Export Growth
Export numbers from Peru to the United States have shown a dramatic upswing in the past 10 years, as the two economies have become more closely integrated. Two of the most important growth sectors are agricultural products and textiles. Agricultural products, including fish, grew 13.9 percent from 2009 to 2018. This sector alone represented US $1.87 billion. Textiles exports present a similar upward movement, growing 1.3 percent between 2009 and 2018. Combined growth within both sectors averages a healthy 8.9 percent, representing a total $2.55 billion in exports from Peru to the United States.
Many of these agricultural and manufactured products represent trade that did not exist between the two countries even a few years ago, helping employ people throughout several sectors of the Peruvian economy. In 2018, this consisted of exports of blueberries, which reached a total value of $289 million; calcium phosphate, which reached a total of $145 million; and windshield glass production, which reached a total of $46 million. None of these products had been exported to the United States in 2009, demonstrating the creation of completely new markets for Peruvian goods and the opportunity to further tie the two economies together.
Minister Vasquez visited the United Nations General Assembly this September in New York, discussing many of the increases in trade from Peru to other nations as the South American country continues to expand into the global economy. For example, during the last two decades, Peru’s trade with the world, including both goods and services, registered a near sixfold increase, reaching a total $108 billion in 2018. During that period, Peru performed above average for Latin America and was, in fact, the region’s fourth fastest-growing economy during the last decade. This had tangible benefits for the entire nation: Peru’s poverty and extreme poverty rates went down significantly in the last two decades and are currently 20.5 percent and 2.8 percent of the country’s total population.
Peru has long had a proven comparative advantage over other countries in the mining sector and has been able to diversify this export base by expanding the agricultural, fisheries, chemical, textile and metallics manufacturing sectors. Currently, 89 percent of Peru’s merchandise exports reach economies with which it has trade agreements.
The success of these trade agreements has been demonstrated over the last two decades as agricultural exports grew at average rates nearing 15 percent annually. In the agricultural export sector, Peru registered the highest growth rates in Latin America. Globally, Peru is the largest asparagus exporter, the second largest exporter of blueberries, avocados, mangoes and Brazil nuts, and the largest exporter of grapes.
Successfully Increasing International Tourism
In 2018, nearly 4.4 million international visitors arrived in Peru, an increase of 9.6 percent over 2017. In the first half of 2019, inbound tourism generated $2.51 billion, an increase of 7.1 percent compared to the same period in 2018, making tourism the 3rd most important international currency source, representing 2.2 percent of GDP. According to the latest Ranking of Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index 2019, Peru ranked fifth in Latin America for international tourism.
Travelers from the United States numbered 641,280, or 14.5 percent, of the international total, an increase of 7.1 percent over 2017. This year’s data shows tourism will be even stronger in 2019, with 458,012 Americans entering Peru through August, representing 15.4 percent of total international visitors.
American visitors also spend significant time and money in Peru, averaging 10-night stays and per person expenditures of approximately $1,500, with 40 percent of travelers booking through agencies. The capital city of Lima, historic Cusco and Puno on Lake Titicaca are primary destinations for American visitors, 59 percent of whom come on vacation and 18 percent to visit friends and family, with 38 percent staying in a 4- or 5-star hotel. The average American visitor in 2018 was also very young, as 50 percent were millennials and 18 percent were Gen Z.
The Peruvian economy has become more globally connected within the last two decades, as agricultural, mineral and manufactured exports have increased through highly successful international trade agreements. The United States represents an important part of this trend which has helped to lift many in the country out of poverty. Importantly, in addition to buying Peruvian products, rising numbers of Americans are visiting this South American nation. Current data predict these trends will continue even more strongly through 2019 and beyond.
Posted November 13, 2019
Source: PROMPERÚ — Peru’s Export and Tourism Promotion agency