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Background Information

Background Information
Peru's Competitive Advantage
Working in Peru
Peru's Economy
Meet the Culture
The Peruvian Markets
Risk Management in Peru
Social Issues and Concerns in Peru
Conclusion and Recommendations
Start here for some general facts about Peru...


The country of Peru is located on the west coast of South America, between Chile and Ecuador. It is not a very large country, measuring only 1,285,220 square kilometers compared to Canada’s vast size of 9,984,670 square kilometers.

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The entire population of Peru is roughly 28,000,000. The largest cities in Peru are Lima, the capital (7,603,500), Arequipa (733,900), Trujillo (600,900), Chiclayo (490,400), and Piura (359,400). Most of the population live in coastal cities, and the least amount of people live in the northeast portion of the country, The population growth rate of Peru is 1.66% per year, and the nation’s population density is 21.75 people per square kilometer.



The official languages of Peru are Spanish and Quechua. Another language often spoken in Peru is Aymara, even though it is not official.


The Flag

The Peru flag contains three equal bands of red, white, and red. In the white section of the flag is Peru’s coat of arms. It shows a vicuna, cinchona tree, and a yellow comucopia pouring out golden coins. This is all surrounded by a green wreath.


GDP and Inflation

The GDP of Peru in 2003 was $146.9 billion (US). The GDP per capita in Peru was $5,200 (US) in 2003. The growth rate of Peru’s GDP was 4% in 2003. There are three main categories which make up Peru’s GDP, they are agriculture (10%), industries (35%), and services (55%). The inflation rate in Peru was 2.3% in 2003.


GDP/capita Canadian conversion:


$5200 (US) x 1.28 (exchange rate)

= $6656 (CAN)



The form of currency used in Peru is the Nuevo Sol. You can buy 2.52 Nuevo Sols for $1.00 (CAN). The Peruvian currency fluctuates often and rarely stays steady for more than one month.


Currency conversion:

$1.00 (CAN) = 2.6247 Nuevo Sols

1 Nuevo Sol = $0.381 (CAN)

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Peru is in the Central time zone, so when it is noon in Ottawa, it is only 11:00am in Lima.



The climate in Peru is very tropical in the east, a dry desert in the west, and extremely cold in the Andes mountains.


The type of government in Peru is a constitutional republic. The president is elected in by the citizens of Peru, in orderly elections. The government is then appointed by the president and they all serve for five year terms. Peru’s bicameral legislature consists of a 60 member Senate, and a 180 member Chamber of Deputies. Peru has had a very unstable government in the recent decade and elected a new head of government, Alejandro Toledo, in 2001.


Imports and Exports

The natural resources that Peru is most well known for are copper, silver, gold, petroleum, lumber, fish, iron, coal, phosphate, hydro power, and natural gas. Peru is known for exporting lead, coffee, sugar, and cotton. Peru’s exports total $9 billion per year. Their top export partners are the United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland, China, Japan, Chile and Brazil. Peru needs to import goods such as machinery, transport equipment, chemicals, food, and pharmaceuticals. This nation imports $8.2 billion worth of materials per year. Peru’s top partners are similar to their export partners including the United States, Chile, Spain, Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil and Japan.

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Peru was the world’s largest coca leaf and opium producer until 1996. Once they would produce these plants, they would ship it off to Colombia, where it would be manufactured into cocaine.


Labour Force

In 2003 the Peruvian labour force consisted of 8.63 million people. The breakdown of occupations is as follows:

Agriculture 5.9%

Mining and quarrying 0.4%

Manufacturing 12.6%

Construction 5.3%

Commerce 26.3%

Household work 4.9%

Other services 44.6%

The unemployment rate in Peru is 9.7%



There are many colleges and universities in Peru some of which are listed here:


Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru

Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina

Universidad Nacional de Ingenieria

Universidad Nacional de Piura

Universidad Nacional de San Agustín

Universidad Nacional de San Antonio Abad del Cusco

Universidad Nacional de Trujillo

Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos

Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas

Universidad Peruana Norbert Wienner

Universidad Ricardo Palma

Universidad San Martín de Porres


To be completely honest, I personally would not want to go to school there simply because we have such a great education system in Canada. I also don’t speak Spanish. There would be a major language barrier as well as a culture shock. This combined with the predetermined pressures of university would drive me through a roof. Although it would be an incredible experience to see Peru, or even live there for a short period of time, I don’t think that the culture and lifestyle there is the way for me.

©Copyright 2004 Peru-4-U