Archive for the ‘Peru’ Category

Pink tide recedes in South America

| September 3rd, 2013 | No Comments »
Financial Times

The economic deceleration that followed the financial crisis has played around the world like a film in slow motion. The first to suffer was the US, the crisis epicentre. The movie then opened in Europe, with a strong showing in its more vulnerable southern countries. The slowdown moved on to China and is now opening in other emerging economies, not least South America’s. Although asset prices there have fallen, there is little sense of a financial crisis. Indeed, the political effects of the slowdown may prove more lasting than its economic ones. The “pink tide” may start to recede.

South America has enjoyed a banner decade largely thanks to a profound improvement in its terms of trade. The take-off in commodity prices that began in 2003 and worried so many elsewhere was a boon for the region’s oil, soya and copper-producing economies. Balances of payments moved into surplus, allowing for greater imports. Capital ... Read More

How China’s Slowdown Will Impact Latin America

| August 23rd, 2013 | No Comments »
Real Clear World-01

BY JAIME DAREMBLUM

It is the end of an era for China, and also for Latin America.

After expanding by at least eight percent, and often by double digits, for more than a decade, the Chinese economy is entering a period of slower growth. In 2012, it grew by only 7.8 percent, and the government’s official growth target for 2013 is even lower (7.5 percent). Those numbers are obviously quite high by U.S. and European standards, but China is still a developing country with widespread rural poverty, and according to theNew York Times, the Communist Party is hoping to relocate another 250 million people from the countryside to towns and cities by 2025. Chinese officials have long believed that eight percent annual GDP growth is the minimum required to ensure “social stability.” Now they are dealing with a severe credit crunch, as years of debt-financed investment spending have left Chinese banks holding a ... Read More

As a Boom Slows, Peru Grows Uneasy

| August 20th, 2013 | No Comments »
The New York Times

BY WILLIAM NEUMAN

LIMA, Peru — From his office window, Henrik Kristensen, the chief executive of the company that runs Peru’s main port, can still look out at rows of newly arrived, shiny Kia automobiles from South Korea and shipping containers stacked four high, full of imported items like television sets and brand-name clothing bound for the growing number of malls that serve this country’s burgeoning middle class.

“This is Peru,” he said. “When you go to the shopping malls they’re full of people, they’re full. That’s a good indicator that people are really spending money.”

Peru’s economy grew an average of 6.4 percent a year from 2002-12 after adjusting for inflation, according to government figures, a remarkable period of sustained expansion that has made it one of the world’s star economies.

But suddenly growth has slowed here, and just beyond the view from Mr. Kristensen’s window, under Lima’s perpetually gray ... Read More

Andres Oppenheimer: U.S. may reassess Iran-Latin American ties

| August 8th, 2013 | No Comments »
The Miami Herald

The U.S. State Department said this week it will reevaluate a recent report in which it downplayed Iran’s links to terrorism in Latin America. But don’t expect an immediate change in U.S. policy

Judging from what I’m told by senior U.S. officials, the Obama administration will continue trying not to over-dramatize this issue, even if there is mounting pressure from Congress to take a more aggressive stand on Iran’s activities in Latin America. In a letter to Sen. Mark Kirk, R-IL., dated Aug. 1, the State Department said that it has asked the U.S. intelligence community to take a new look into Iran’s activities in the region in light of a 500-page report by Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman, the lead investigator into the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires. That attack left 85 people dead and about 300 wounded. “We told Sen. Kirk that Mr. Nisman’s report was published ... Read More

Peru: Humala humbled

| August 2nd, 2013 | No Comments »
The Economist

PROTESTS have been something of a way of life in Peru for decades, the lasting product of a collapse in the economy and of trust in the political system in the 1980s. They have continued even as the economy has boomed, with annual average growth of 6.5% since 2003. But the country’s latest demonstrations have an air of modernity about them, a faint whiff of the discontents of an aspirational lower-middle class that have recently shaken Chile and Brazil.

The trigger was a decision by Congress to share out among party hacks important jobs at supposedly independent bodies, such as the ombudsman; six justices of the Constitutional Tribunal, the highest court; and three vacant slots on the Central Bank’s board (though in this case the nominees were unobjectionable). Outrage against what many Peruvians see as a corrupt and self-serving political class was swift, dominating both traditional and social media. When several ... Read More

Andres Oppenheimer: China-Latin America fiesta is over

| July 26th, 2013 | No Comments »
The Miami Herald

BY ANDRES OPPENHEIMER

After more than a decade of booming economic ties between China and Latin America, new headlines that China may be heading for a crisis are starting to draw anxiety in China-dependent countries in the region. And they should.

In recent days, there have been a barrage of alarming reports forecasting what we had suggested in this column on June 1 — that China’s explosive growth of the past three decades will come to an end. That could badly hurt Venezuela, Argentina, Chile, Peru and other countries that had thrived in recent years thanks to their commodity exports to the Asian giant.

“The signs are now unmistakable: China is in big trouble,” wrote Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman in The New York Times on July 18. “We’re not talking about some minor setback along the way, but something more fundamental…You could say that the Chinese model is about to hit its ... Read More

El presidente del Perú más Pragmático que Ideológico

| July 25th, 2013 | No Comments »
The Miami Herald

Desde que asumió el poder como presidente del Perú, Ollanta Humala ha estado luchando para satisfacer a los pobres, a la mayoría indígena que lo eligió y a los inversionistas peruanos y extranjeros que son indispensables para mantener el crecimiento económico. En este momento, Humala parece caminar una línea muy delgada hacia el camino correcto. Ayudarlo a lo largo de ese camino debería interesarle a todos los peruanos y a cualquiera que esté apostando por la estabilidad y el crecimiento de ese país.

Ser político en un país donde la mayoría está compuesta por el sector más pobre de la población y que además busca la parte que le corresponde de la prosperidad nacional puede ser un trabajo muy complejo. Las políticas que simplemente transfieren la riqueza del estado a los pobres no son sostenibles, y los programas sociales dirigidos a ayudar a los pobres por medio de educación y formación ... Read More

Peru heads in right direction under President Humala

| July 25th, 2013 | 1 Comment »
The Miami Herald

In the two years since taking power as president of Peru, Ollanta Humala has been struggling to please the poor and indigenous majority that elected him and to placate the economic elite and foreign investors who are indispensable to sustaining robust growth. At this point, Humala appears to be walking a fine line, headed in the right direction.

Helping him along that path is in the interest of every Peruvian and others who are betting on that country’s stability and growth.

Being a national politician in a country whose poor majority is impatient to claim its fair share of prosperity can be very tricky work. Policies that merely transfer wealth are not sustainable, and social programs aimed at empowering the poor with the education and training they need to pull themselves out of poverty take time to bear fruit. Even Brazil, once seen as a model for social empowerment, was shaken last ... Read More

Latin America’s Wave Of Protests Reaches Peru; Middle Class Takes To Streets Against Corruption

| July 25th, 2013 | No Comments »
International Business Times

BY PATRICIA REY MALLEN

The social upheaval movement that is doing the rounds of Latin America has reached Peru. Two different protests have disrupted the streets of Lima this week, prompted by the government’s decision to appoint well-connected but unqualified people as new judges on the Supreme Court, as directors of the Central Bank, and as Ombudsman.

More than 3,000 people marched through the capital in a peaceful manner on Monday, and sat down in front of Congress for over an hour. Police made them leave using tear gas, in a much-criticized show of force.

In response, the Peruvian Congress held an emergency meeting to annul the new appointments, as reported by Peruvian newspaper La Republica. Initially, the idea was to just annul the appointments of the Supreme Court judges and Ombudsman, since there were no specific complaints about the directors of the Central Bank. However, Congressman Javier Velásquez Quesquén announced that since the ten ... Read More

Why Latin America Is Becoming Less Democratic

| July 17th, 2013 | No Comments »
The Atlantic

BY KURT WEYLAND

Around the turn of the millennium, prominent Latin America special­ist Scott Mainwaring highlighted the surprising endurance of democracy in that region after the transition wave of the late 1970s and 1980s. Dur­ing that interval, no democracy had permanently succumbed to a mili­tary coup or slid back into authoritarian rule. After decades marked by instability in numerous countries, especially Argentina, Bolivia, and Ec­uador, this newfound democratic resilience came as a welcome surprise.

But at about the time Mainwaring was writing, onetime coupmaker Hugo Chávez was winning election to the Venezuelan presidency and beginning to move his country away from democratic rule. Venezuela had survived the rash of military coups that swept the region in the 1960s and 1970s to become a byword for democratic stability in Latin America. Economic deterioration, political ossification, and rampant corruption had brought sustained decay, however, and paved the way for this radical populist, former army ... Read More

The Next Big Free-Trade Breakthrough

| July 15th, 2013 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal

BY MARY O’GRADY

Villa de Leyva, Colombia

This quaint colonial town, nestled in the mountains three hours north of Bogotá by car, is a favorite retreat for city slickers who want to slow down. Ubiquitous red-tile roofs peek over high, white-washed walls as local women in ponchos and fedoras tread across ancient cobblestone streets. Time seems to stand still.

But on the last weekend in June this was the site of the eighth ministerial meeting of the Pacific Alliance, the most important trade liberalization effort in the Americas that you’ve never heard of.

While the world’s largest media outlets focused on civil unrest in Brazil and the Russian outpost of U.S. National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, trade and foreign ministers and their deputies from Colombia, Chile, Peru and Mexico were here, negotiating the final chapters of an economic and trade integration pact that is likely to be the most effective catalyst for growth in ... Read More

Latin American complaints over U.S. spying ignore their own wiretap programs

| July 12th, 2013 | No Comments »
The Miami Herald

BY TIM JOHNSON

MEXICO CITY – Several Latin American presidents have complained bitterly following recent revelations about U.S. electronic surveillance, but there’s a bit of hypocrisy in some of their griping.

At least four Latin countries have requested, and received, U.S. help in setting up eavesdropping programs of their own, ostensibly designed to fight organized crime. But the programs are easily diverted to political ends, and with weak rule of law in parts of the region, wiretapping scandals erupt every few months.

The latest brouhaha occurred six weeks ago in Panama, where a leading presidential candidate complained of wiretapping by the government.

“All Panamanians know that illegal recordings are done by the government every day. The only party able to record and tap telephones is the state, not anyone else,” said Juan Carlos Navarro, a center-left presidential candidate.

Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli told Navarro to watch his mouth because some “beauts” were about to leak out ... Read More

Ilan Berman Testimony: Threat to the Homeland: Iran’s Extending Influence in the Western Hemisphere

| July 10th, 2013 | 1 Comment »
US House of Representatives

Chairman Duncan, Ranking Member Barber, distinguished members of the Subcommittee:

Thank you for inviting me to appear before you today to address the issue of Iran’s presence in the Western Hemisphere. I strongly believe that it represents an issue of high importance to the safety and security of the United States. Over the past two years, my organization, the American Foreign Policy Council, has extensively studied Iran’s presence and activities in Latin America. This has entailed three separate fact-finding missions to Central and South America to date, the most recent in May 2013. What follows are my observations and conclusions gleaned from those visits.

IRAN’S OBJECTIVES

To properly grasp the challenge posed by Iran’s activities in the Western Hemisphere, they need to be understood in proper geopolitical context: as part of a larger “peripheral strategy” on the part of the Iranian regime. To a significant degree, they are a response to growing diplomatic ... Read More

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

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