In an interview with the Washington Post on 10 December 2016, President Kuczynski said U.S. President-elect Donald Trump is lucky to have Latin America as a neighbor, because of the major economic contributions of its immigrants. In response to Trump’s intentions to renegotiate trade deals, Kuczynski also pointed out that trade negotiations with the region, such as NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), have been positive for the U.S. (El Comercio). However, Kuczynski did criticize TPP for failing to include China, Peru’s major trading partner, and for the likelihood that the treaty will increase medicine prices (RPP).
The Commission for the Promotion of Peru for Exportation and Tourism (Promperu) announced on 5 December, 2016 that Peru was awarded as the World's Leading Culinary Destination for the fifth year in a row. The award was given by the World Travel Awards in a ceremony in the Maldives. Peru was also recognized regionally back in July 2016 as the Leading Culinary Destination of South America (Andina). The World Trade Awards are considered the “Oscars of tourism” and have been going on for 23 years. They celebrate the excellence of every sector of the tourism industry, which Peru has always been a part of (El Comercio).
Bolivia will be able to access a fiber optic network from the Pacific Ocean with facilities provided from the Peruvian government's support. This was part of one of the agreements finalized on 4 November 2016 between the two nations during their Binational Cabinet (La Razon). Peru's Vice President and Minister of Transportation Martin Vizcarra said both countries will exchange regulatory experiences in terms of information and communication technologies. President Evo Morales expressed his gratitude for the access as it would help Bolivia have faster and cheaper internet for the population and also build a better communication system (Hoy Bolivia).
Viva Airlines Peru announced it will begin operations in the first semester of 2017. Viva Airlines advertises itself as a low cost airline, as each route costs 60 Peruvian soles, which is equivalent to $US 17.71. The airline is working towards invigorating and democratizing air fares by offering lower prices compared other domestic airlines where there is up to a 5 percent mark (Andina). The airline will offer flights to eight of Peru’s cities and is recruiting pilots, copilots, crew members and technicians. The cities listed for travel include Lima, Cusco, Arequipa, Iquitos, Piura, Tarapoto, Trujillo and Chiclayo (La República).
Technical committees from Bolivia and Peru began meetings on 1 November 2016 in Scure to finalize the signing of various agreements, such as strengthening business and advancing the Bioceanic train project. Peruvian Ambassador to Bolivia Benjamin Chimoy emphasized the importance of the bilateral meeting, saying allows for an evaluation of the achievements from previous accords. The current Presidents of Bolivia and Peru, Evo Morales and Pablo Kuczynski, respectively, alongside their respective cabinets are scheduled to meet on 4 November 2016 (La Razon). This will be the Second Binational Peru-Bolivia Cabinet which will conclude with a signed joint declaration. Other topics on the table for discussion include security and energy (La Prensa).
Russian supermarket chain X5 Retail Group, one of the largest in Russia, will visit Peru in March 2017. They are searching for food providers for items such as fresh mangoes, grapes, and asparagus for Russian consumers. X5 Retail Group has typical annual sales of $US 10 billion (Andina). The growing relationship between the grocery chain and Peru stems from September 2016, during a forum for food importers. Participants included representatives from national businesses and Peru’s Ambassador to Russia, Carlos Velasco (La Republica).
President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski met with his Mexican counterpart Enrique Peña Nieto during the Iberoamerican Summit 2016 on 29 October 2016 in Cartagena, Colombia. During bilateral meetings, they discussed the Pacific Alliance, a cultural collaboration between Peru and Mexico, and steps to improve the price of exported gas to Mexico (La Republica). Kuczynski desires to sell Peru’s gas at a higher price and commented that the current rate was very low. The President also met with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and took to Twitter to share the success of these meetings (Andina).
Visa’s Chief of Financial Inclusion for Latin America and the Caribbean, Jorge Ortega, explained digitized payments are a launch pad for financial inclusion in Latin America. One of the growing sectors in the region is via mail order catalogues. While this isn’t necessarily the case for Peru, Ortega explained the country has ideal conditions for financial inclusion, because there are a large number of people not included in the financial system. It has one of the most active governments working towards more financial inclusion, which is a benefitting factor (El Comercio). Ortega pointed out that 18 million Peruvians still do not have access to the banking system, which is 71 percent of the population. He estimated that with these positive conditions, some 10 million Peruvians will sign up for the banking system in the next few years (La Republica).
President Evo Morales confirmed Bolivia and Peru will construct the Central Bioceanic Train, which will connect the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Morales said it will be discussed in a meeting with Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski on 4 November 2016. The train is expected to pass through the Bolivian cities of Santa Cruz, Cochabamba, Oruro, La Paz, and Ilo (Los Tiempos). Bolivian Finance Minister Luis Arce traveled to Lima to meet with Peru’s Transportation Minister Martin Vizcarra to discuss the project in detail. The project will connect the Atlantic by starting in Puerto Santos, Brazil before hitting Bolivia and finally Peru to unite with the Pacific (La Razon).
President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski declared corruption in Peru must be eliminated, as it negatively impacts employment opportunities for youth. By using influence to obtain positions, there is no fair share of competition to fight for jobs (Andina). Kuczynski’s sentiments echo those of OCED’s Secretary General Ángel Gurría, who explained on 14 October that corruption damages a country's economy and growth. Consequently, it also impacts citizens’ trust in institutions. According to experts, nations which attack corruption head on can increase economic growth up to 300 percent. Peru recently signed on as the 42nd signatory to the OCED or Organization for Economic Co‑operation and Development (La Republica).
Peru’s Economic Minister Alfredo Thorne said Peru's economy grew 4.3 percent due to mining and public spending. Mining production grew by about 26.9 percent during the first half of 2016, which in turn supported Peru’s 2.5 percent GDP growth. Despite recession Latin American, Thorne explains promotion of private investment and improved productivity will continue to help Peru grow (La Republica). Public investment also increased by 20 percent; however, Thorne is concerned that private investment continues to fall despite high expectations and thus, needs to be given more attention. On the plus side, the economy grew by 5.52 percent in August 2016 due to a series of favorable factors, including growth in the primary sector by 15.9 percent and fishing by 66 percent. Peru desires to close its infrastructure gap by 50 percent in the next five years with a major set of projects costing US$18 billion over the course of two years (Andina).