Archive for the ‘Peru’ Category

Ecuador’s exports to USA at risk if Snowden gets asylum

| June 28th, 2013 | No Comments »
USA TODAY

BY GIRISH GUPTA

PIFO, Ecuador — At a flower farm about 19 miles outside Quito, Ecuador’s capital, sales manager Juan Pablo Ponce shows off the produce and logistics required to package bouquets, 80% of which are exported to the United States.

“We try to keep on working hard, doing what we do best,” says Ponce, 33, who has worked at the Valleflor site for seven years. “That’s all we can do.”

While Ecuador’s government makes its decision on whether to grant U.S. fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden asylum, colleagues of Ponce here who export flowers to the USA worry that fallout from the political decision may harm their business, especially with the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA) pact up for renewal by the U.S. Congress next month.

Ecuador said Thursday it is renouncing the trade pact because it had become a “new instrument of blackmail” involving the fate of the NSA leaker ... Read More

Subcommittee Hearing: Threat to the Homeland: Iran’s Extending Influence in the Western Hemisphere

| June 27th, 2013 | No Comments »
US House of Representatives

Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency | 311 Cannon House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 | Jul 9, 2013 2:00pm

Opening Statements

Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Chairman

Witnesses

To Be Announced

Click here to watch live video.

Read More

As China’s Economy Cools, Peru’s Growth Outlook Sours

| June 26th, 2013 | No Comments »
Forbes

BY NATHANIEL PARISH FLANNERY

On June 20, 2013 Peru’s Central Bank revised its economic growth outlook for 2013 to 6.1 percent from 6.3 percent due to concerns about weak global growth and slowing demand for the South American nation’s mineral exports. Central Bank President Julio Velarde explained “slower global growth will be reflected in lower gains for exports in 2013.” The big concern is slowing growth in China. After all, China’s manufacturing sector contracted for the second month in a row. Overall, Chinese manufacturing growth slowed to the lowest level reported for nine months.

In Peru, while domestic demand continues to fuel economic growth, the weakening external environment is taking some of the vitality out of exports. In the first quarter of 2013 Peru’s economy expanded at 4.8 percent compared to the same period the previous year, the slowest first quarter growth rate recorded more than three years. In the first quarter, Peru’s exports fell ... Read More

Bolivia will hold double membership of Mercosur and the Andean Community

| June 24th, 2013 | No Comments »
MercoPress

The announcement was made following a meeting of the two ministers together with Mercosur high commissioner, Ivan Ramalho from Brazil.

“The simultaneous negotiation will ensure Bolivia double belonging to the Andean Community, CAN and to Mercosur”, said Almagro who added that Mercosur respects La Paz association negotiations with the EU, since they were started before Bolivia announced its intention of upgrading from associate to full member of Mercosur.

Originally when Bolivia was pondering its request for full Mercosur membership it was established that the country would have to choose between one and the other. However, the Bolivians insisted that since their economy was one of the most underdeveloped in the continent it needed all the aid and support possible, plus sufficient consideration for the vulnerable areas of its economy.

In support of that position and addressing a forum of Bolivian business people in La Paz to outline the benefits of incorporation to Mercosur, ... Read More

Smaller companies urged to break into the markets of the Americas

| June 21st, 2013 | No Comments »
The Miami Herald

BY MIMI WHITEFIELD

Latin American and Caribbean trade conferences held in Miami often concentrate on the big players – the multinationals – and global economic trends. But Trade Américas Expo, which began Thursday, is shifting the focus to small- and medium-sized businesses and creating more business opportunities for them in the hemisphere.

More than 200 business executives, government officials, lawyers and other professionals are attending the two-day event, which features panel discussions, case studies, keynote speakers and the opportunity for executives from smaller enterprises to meet one-on-one with colleagues and representatives from multinationals and trade promotion agencies.

Some 250 private match-making meetings have been set for Thursday and Friday, said Richard Burns, chairman of the Latin Trade Group, an information and business services company that is hosting the event in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank.

“Small- and medium-sized businesses are, in my opinion, the centerpiece of development strategy in the future,” Enrique García, ... Read More

Peru Humala’s approval rating slips for fourth straight month

| June 17th, 2013 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in Reuters

LIMA - Peruvian President Ollanta Humala’s approval rating fell in June for the fourth straight month to nearly the lowest level of his term, due in part to his refusal to pardon jailed former President Alberto Fujimori, according to a poll released on Sunday.

The popularity of Humala, who has been in office nearly two years, slipped to 41 percent in June from 46 percent in May, pollster Ipsos said.

His approval rating was also hurt by verbal sparring with former President Alan Garcia, who has said Humala is working to ensure his wife, first lady Nadine Heredia, can run for president in 2016, according to the Ipsos study published by the newspaper El Comercio.

Humala’s charismatic wife is widely seen as a potential candidate, but current election rules would prohibit her from running to lead one of Latin America’s fastest-growing economies.

According to the poll, 48 percent of respondents disagreed with Humala’s decision to reject a humanitarian ... Read More

Argentina or Venezuela: Which One Will Get a U.S. Reset?

| June 14th, 2013 | No Comments »
Real Clear World-01

BY ANA BARON

BUENOS AIRES – The meeting between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Venezuelan counterpart, Elias Jaua, was certainly one of the most significant during the recent annual assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Guatemala.

During their 40-minute encounter, the two top diplomats agreed to reopen a dialogue at the highest level despite the profound differences that continue to separate the two countries.

Following this first step of rapprochement between Washington and Caracas, might something similar occur with Argentina in the near future? In conversations with various specialists from the U.S., Clarín found a consensus that the answer is a clear “No.”

Why is there more hope for warming of Washington’s relations with Venezuela than with Argentina?

The reasons can be divided into three categories. In the first place, the Venezuelan President, Nicolás Maduro, was the one who asked for the meeting with the American Secretary of State. It is ... Read More

Remarks by President Obama and President Humala of Peru After Bilateral Meeting

| June 12th, 2013 | No Comments »
White House-01

Oval Office

12:16 P.M. EDT

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  I’m very happy to welcome President Humala and his delegation to the Oval Office.  We’ve been able to work together and interact in a wide range of multilateral forums, but this is the first time that I’ve been able to have the President here in Washington.

Peru is one of our strongest and most reliable partners in the hemisphere.  We have a strong commercial and trading relationship.  We cooperate on a wide range of security issues, including our counter-narcotics efforts.  And we spent most of our discussion focused on how we can further deepen this important bilateral relationship.

I want to congratulate President Humala on being able to sustain strong growth rates in Peru, and his focus on broad-based economic growth that includes all people.  As a consequence, Peru has been able to see not only increased growth but also reduced poverty and steps ... Read More

White House Fact Sheet: U.S. – Peru Economic Relations

| June 12th, 2013 | No Comments »
White House-01

The United States and Peru share a strong commitment to expanding economic growth, job creation and inclusion through integration into global markets.  Our close cooperation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiation and our high standard United States – Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (the Agreement) are recent examples of efforts to strengthen trade and investment ties bilaterally and to expand economic links between the Americas and growing markets of the Pacific Rim.  Additionally, Peru is a partner in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum and the Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas initiative.

Leaders in the Trans-Pacific Partnership

The United States and Peru are two of the original members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).  TPP is a comprehensive, high-standard, 21st century trade agreement that will increase exports and jobs in both the United States and Peru, and address the issues that U.S. and Peruvian businesses and workers are facing in the 21st century.   The United ... Read More

Peru Leader Surprises Critics With Free-Market Policies

| June 11th, 2013 | No Comments »
Wall Street Journal WSJ-01

BY ROBERT KOZAK

Many in Peru and on Wall Street once feared that Ollanta Humala might be the second coming of Hugo Chávez in South America. Like the late Venezuelan strongman, Mr. Humala was a former lieutenant colonel who had led a failed uprising and advocated a bigger state role in the economy to help the poor.

But nearly two years into his presidency, the 50-year-old meets with PresidentBarack Obama on Tuesday as a leader who has moved closer to Peru’s business sector and aligned the economy with free-market stalwarts like Chile, even as some neighbors like Bolivia and Ecuador tilt toward socialism.

Late Monday, Mr. Humala, whose close-cropped hair and demeanor still give him the air of a military man, met with members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and with academics. On Tuesday, he and Mr. Obama are expected to discuss trade, the fight against drug trafficking and other issues.

Mr. Humala campaigned partly ... Read More

Joe Biden’s Free-Trade Epiphany

| June 10th, 2013 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal

BY MARY O’GRADY

Vice President Joe Biden returned from his trip to Latin America last month a convert to free-trade and an enthusiast for the peace that former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe brought to his country. Or so said the veep in an op-ed he penned for this newspaper last week.

If Mr. Biden now sees the connection between prosperity and free trade, I say huzzah. The U.S. is part of negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a proposed free-trade agreement among a group of Asian countries and the democracies of Canada, Chile, Peru and Mexico. If TPP talks are to succeed, U.S. commitment is a must.

But count me a skeptic. The protectionist, anti-development and collectivist agendas of Big Labor, green radicals and the ideological left are woven into Obama administration policy. Democrats rely heavily on these groups for financing, and the Obama administration can’t afford to offend them. It’s hard to believe that it ... Read More

Peru’s Shining Path leader jailed for life for terrorism

| June 10th, 2013 | No Comments »
BBC

A court in Peru has sentenced the last of the original leaders of the Shining Path rebels to life in prison.

Judges in the Peruvian capital, Lima, found Florindo Flores, who’s known as Comrade Artemio, guilty of terrorism, drug trafficking and money laundering.

He was also ordered to pay a fine of $183m (£117m).

The Shining Path rebels were severely weakened in the 1990s after failing to install a Communist state, but some remain active in southern Peru.

After hours of sentencing, Judge Clotilde Cavero said: “It was proven that he (Artemio) ordered the execution of a number of civilians, police and soldiers.

“It was proven that he belonged to the Central Committee of the Shining Path.

“It was proven that he was the top leader in the (Alto) Huallaga (Valley),” she said.

Cocaine link

During the trial which lasted six months, Artemio, 51, had denied the terrorism charges but referred to himself as a “revolutionary”.

He was ... Read More

Why Bolivia Needs the United States

| June 6th, 2013 | No Comments »
Article appeared in The Weekly Standard

BY JAIME DAREMBLUM

Socialists around the world have their own traditions for celebrating “International Workers’ Day,” and Evo Morales is no exception. Each year, the Bolivian leader uses May 1 to make a big announcement, typically regarding the military-backed seizure of a given industry or company. In 2006, during his first May Day as president, he nationalized his country’s enormous natural gas reserves. Since then, he has grabbed control of telecom companies, energy companies, and more. On May 1, 2012, he had Bolivian troops seize an electricity firm (owned by the Spanish multinational REE) that operates most of his nation’s power lines.

This year, Morales took a different approach: Instead of announcing the confiscation of economic assets, he announced the expulsion of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Without citing any evidence, Morales accused the agency of having conspired “against our people and especially the national government.” He also denounced Secretary of State John Kerry for referring to Latin America as ... Read More

Iran On Our Back Porch

| June 5th, 2013 | No Comments »
USA TODAY

BY ILAN BERMAN

Last week, Argentine state prosecutor Alberto Nisman dropped a bombshell when he issued his long-awaited indictment in the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israel Mutual Association (AMIA) in Buenos Aires. The 502-page report pins the blame for the attack — which killed 85 and wounded hundreds more in what experts call Latin America’s 9/11 — squarely on the Islamic Republic of Iran. In doing so, it provides a timely reminder that Iran’s radical regime is active in the Western Hemisphere and that its presence here is far broader than is commonly understood.

Just how much is still a matter of considerable debate. Iran’s activities in the Americas have exploded over the past eight years, propelled in large part by the warm personal ties between outgoing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and recently-deceased Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez. Using Venezuela as a gateway into the region, Tehran succeeded in forging strategic partnerships with like-minded governments in ... Read More

Opinion Andres Oppenheimer: While Pacific Alliance thrives, Mercosur wither

| May 28th, 2013 | No Comments »
The Miami Herald

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos may not have been hallucinating when he said last week that the Pacific Alliance — the bloc made up of Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Chile — “is the new economic and development engine of Latin America and the Caribbean.”

Indeed, the Pacific Alliance, which was officially launched only one year ago, is growing rapidly and becoming a serious economic bloc, while Mercosur — the common market made up of Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Uruguay and temporarily-suspended Paraguay — is turning into a political club increasingly weakened by internal infighting.

The four Pacific Alliance member countries had a combined economic growth of 5 percent last year, while members of Mercosur grew by a combined 2.9 percent, according to the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC).

Furthermore, amid a general slowdown in global commerce, trade among Pacific Alliance countries grew by 1.3 percent last year, while trade among Mercosur ... Read More

Peru warns of economic downturn

| May 24th, 2013 | No Comments »
Financial Times

BY NAOMI MAPSTONE

Peru’s stellar economic growth is facing a downward correction amid the end of the commodities supercycle and a slowdown in top trade partner China, according to Luis Miguel Castilla, the country’s finance minister.

“The correction is between 6.5 towards around 6 per cent,” Mr Castilla told the FT in an interview.

“Obviously for us China is critical … if China is able to manage a soft landing towards growing at 8 per cent and sustaining that growth, that should help us to also ‘soft land’ our growth.”

His comments came as Peru on Thursday logged its slowest first-quarter growth in three years, at 4.8 per cent year-on-year, leading some economists to predict prolonged slower growth.

“The big picture is that growth is unlikely to return to the 7-8 per cent rates witnessed since 2009,” said Capital Economics in a research note. “Peru’s economy has benefited from an unprecedented decade-long mining boom, fuelled by Chinese demand for ... Read More

Latin American Trade Bloc Cuts Tariffs

| May 24th, 2013 | No Comments »

BY DARCY CROWE & ROBERT KOZAK

CALI, Colombia—The leaders of a regional trade bloc that encompasses Chile, Peru, Colombia and Mexico moved Thursday to lower import tariffs among the member countries, a decision that could boost economic integration efforts in Latin America.

The Pacific Alliance, as the group is known, includes some of the most open economies in Latin America. The member countries already have free-trade pacts with each other, but the leaders are moving now to simplify the trade rules and unify regulatory standards for industries like agriculture.

The Pacific Alliance nations agreed to the elimination of 90% of all import tariffs among the member countries, a proposal that will have to be approved by June 30 by lawmakers in some of the nations.

The remaining 10% will be more gradually eliminated, although Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said that this will take place “in the shortest time frame possible.”

Colombian President Juan Manuel ... Read More

Costa Rica and Guatemala move closer to joining Pacific Alliance bloc

| May 24th, 2013 | No Comments »
The Miami Herald

BY JIM WYSS

BOGOTA, Colombia – The four nations of the Pacific Alliance may be getting some company as they aim to turn the fledgling bloc into a regional powerhouse and boost trade with Asia. On Thursday, the presidents of Costa Rica and Guatemala said they hoped to become full-fledged members of the group within months.

The Alliance — formed by Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru — held its seventh summit in Cali, Colombia Thursday amid aspirations that it might turn into a preeminent organization in a region stiff with competing blocs.

One of the prerequisites to joining the two-year-old Alliance is to have free-trade agreements with all members. Late Wednesday, Costa Rica and Colombia signed a free-trade deal that unlocked the entry door for the Central American nation.

During a meeting with some 400 regional business leaders Thursday, Guatemalan President Otto Pérez said his country has free-trade deals with Mexico, Colombia, and Chile and ... Read More

Latin American geoeconomics: A continental divide

| May 23rd, 2013 | No Comments »
The Economist

The region is falling in behind two alternative blocks: the market-led Pacific Alliance and the more statist Mercosur

ON MAY 23rd in the Colombian city of Cali the presidents of four Latin American countries—Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru—will sign an agreement removing tariffs on 90% of their merchandise trade. They will also agree on a timetable of no more than seven years for eliminating tariffs on the remaining 10%. They have already removed visa requirements for each other’s citizens and will proclaim their aspiration to move swiftly towards setting up a common market.

The Pacific Alliance, as the group calls itself, is “the most exciting thing going on in Latin America today”, according to Felipe Larraín, Chile’s finance minister. Some outsiders think so, too. Costa Rica and Panama want to join; Canada’s prime minister, Stephen Harper, and his Spanish counterpart, Mariano Rajoy, have said they will attend the Cali meeting as observers.

Behind ... Read More

In bloc-happy Latin America, the Pacific Alliance hopes to stand out

| May 23rd, 2013 | No Comments »
The Miami Herald

BY JIM WYSS

Latin America is fond of carving itself up into an alphabet soup of regional trading blocs and political configurations. There’s the CELAC, UNASUR, Mercosur, ALBA and the Andean Community, just to name a few.

But the two-year old Pacific Alliance is already something of a standout. On Thursday, the presidents of Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Chile, which form the Alliance, will be meeting in Cali, Colombia.

The group is hoping to tear down business barriers and allow the free flow of goods, services and labor. It also wants to be the regional nexus for trade with Asia.

Unlike other regional blocs, which are essentially “political talk shops,” the Pacific Alliance can boast results, said Eric Farnsworth, of the Council of the Americas.

Already, Mexico has dropped visa requirements for Colombians and Peruvians, the four nations share investment and commercial offices in some nations, and are ready to begin sharing some embassies in ... Read More

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