Peru’s Economy Grows

The Peruvian economy had surpassed predicated outlooks and posted a 3.87 percent growth in June. The official figure could strengthen business and consumer confidence, which would help solidify Peru’s tenuous recovery.

Peru’s mining-fueled economy has slowed sharply in the past one and a half years as weak mineral prices have curbed investment.

Quick facts:

  • Mining led growth in June with a 14.15 percent expansion as output from new copper mines and others increased
  • Retail and wholesale sales were up 4.1 percent and agriculture increased 8.1 percent.
  • Construction fell 3.15 percent; fishing, 29.6 percent; and manufacturing, 2.89 percent, official data showed

The economy grew by a seasonally adjusted 1.1 percent rate in June from May, when it expanded by just 1.22 percent year-to-year, Inei said.

In 2014, the economy expanded by 2.35 percent, half as fast as in recent years when growth topped five percent. Expectations are that the economy should rebound in the second half of the year on public spending, and should end the year with growth of close to four percent.

According to research from the Florida Chamber Foundation, international business and foreign direct investment account for approximately 17 percent of Florida’s economic activity, and directly support more than one million Florida jobs. With more than 30 million people and one of the strongest economies in South America, there is a strong potential for Florida companies to expand their exports to Peru. Florida currently exports many different types of Florida-origin products to Peru, including industrial and electric machinery, fertilizers, vehicles, civilian aircraft, and medical instruments.

In fact earlier this year, the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Lima Chamber of Commerce signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to help promote trade and investment opportunities between Peru and the United States.

 

Learn More:

In order to remain globally competitive, Florida needs to diversity our trading partners and markets to expand and grow Florida trade.  This is a strategy identified in the Florida Chamber Foundation’s most recent Trade and Logistics study. To learn more about how the Florida Chamber is work to build Florida’s international relationships, contact Alice Ancona today at aancona@flchamber.com.

 

Get Involved:

Two out of three jobs in Florida are created by small businesses. As such, the Florida Chamber continues to work in support of Enterprise Florida’s small business export grants, which help Florida exporters tap into new markets. Get involved in our efforts this upcoming legislative session by contacting Carolyn Johnson at cjohnson@flchamber.com today.

Florida’s Agriculture Industry Benefits from International Trade

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Edie Ousley, 850-521-1231 or 850-251-6261
eousley@flchamber.com

 

TALLAHASSEE, FL. (May 12, 2015) – Nine of the top 10 markets for Florida agricultural exports are located in the Americas, according to research from the Florida Chamber’s Global Florida Program.

“The Americas present a large portion of Florida’s international trade opportunity, especially for Florida’s agriculture industry,” said Alice Ancona, Director of Global Outreach for the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “Canada continues to be Florida’s number one destination for Florida agriculture products, while Brazil continues to rank as Florida’s top trading partner and export destination. Florida has a once in a lifetime opportunity to take advantage of changing trade routes and become the global hub for international trade.”

Florida ranks eighth in the United States for “Fresh from Florida” exports of agricultural commodities, valued at an all-time record of $4.2 billion, supporting more than 109,000 jobs and representing an economic value of more than $13 billion.

Canada also tops the list as the top international country for visitors and dollars spent in Florida- with more than $4 billion spent. Growing trade relationships with countries like Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina and Peru work to create a competitive environment for Florida’s exporters – 95 percent of which are small-to-mid-sized businesses— to grow and thrive. In fact, the Florida Chamber recently led a Florida delegation along with Lieutenant Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera, to Peru to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to help promote trade and investment opportunities between Peru and the United States.

The impact of international trade to Florida’s economy cannot be denied. International business and foreign direct investment accounts for approximately 17 percent of Florida’s economic activity, and directly supports more than 1 million Florida jobs. Florida is the seventh largest exporter of state-origin products with Florida-origin exports totaling more than $58.6 billion and exports from Florida supporting 275,221 U.S. jobs in 2013.

“International trade is critical not only for Florida’s overall economy, but for individual families and communities across the state, as well as visiting consumers,” said  Doug Wheeler, President and CEO, Florida Ports Council. “Increasing trade creates jobs and brings a better quality of life to our state.”

The Florida Chamber’s Global Florida Program’s mission is to educate and promote business opportunities, collaborate and advance policy initiatives in each of the four major geographic regions:  Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe and Middle East/Africa. Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam recently sponsored the Florida World Trade Month resolution, which was signed by Governor Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi and CFO Jeff Atwater.

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The Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations, aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.

Did You Know Florida is the 7th Largest Exporter of State-Origin Products?

The impact Florida’s international relationships have on our economy cannot be denied. As the seventh largest exporter of state-origin products, Florida-origin exports total more than $58.6 billion and exports from Florida supported 275,221 U.S. jobs in 2013.

“Florida has come a long way in building international economic development efforts, but our work is far from over,” said Doug Davidson, Market Executive of Global Commercial Banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “At Bank of America, we support the Florida Chamber Foundation’s research in trade and logistics because we know that Florida’s future lies in being globally competitive.”

International business and foreign direct investment account for approximately 17 percent of Florida’s economic activity, and directly support more than 1 million Florida jobs. But as our economy grows, Florida must also continue to diversify export destinations- one of the strategies recommended in the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Florida Trade and Logistics Study 2.0.

From the Americas and beyond, Florida is quickly becoming the hub for global trade, especially in emerging markets such as Africa, Latin America and the Middle East- where growth projections remain higher than in developed markets and where purchasing power continues to increase.

The U.S. currently has five free trade agreements in the Middle East region. U.S. free trade agreements have helped expand Florida’s export opportunities. In fact, more than one-third of Florida exports go to countries that have trade agreements with the United States.

When oil exports are excluded, Florida is the number one exporter to Central and South America, with Florida exporting more than $30 billion in goods to that region in 2014.

While Florida’s top trade partners are Brazil and Canada, many emerging countries from several regions make Florida’s top 10 importers list, such as Peru (the site of a recent Enterprise Florida economic development mission trip that was attended by Alice Ancona, Director of Global Outreach for the Florida Chamber of Commerce), United Arab Emirates and Germany.

DYK_Chart_Exporters

As global trade and economic activity expand over the coming decades, international commerce will continue to play a role as an essential driver of Florida’s future. Diversifying Florida’s export destinations is a strategic step in accomplishing this and is outlined in the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Florida Trade and Logistics Study 2.0.

Florida can create a stronger global economy and jobs for future generations through increased investment in ports and infrastructure projects and expanded export manufacturing and value-added services.

The Florida Chamber is committed to connecting Florida’s business community to global opportunities and leveraging resources and investments to maintain and expand Florida’s position as an international trade leader. The International Business Council is launching a new program to support Florida businesses as they explore opportunities to diversify into new export markets. GLOBAL FLORIDA will focus on connecting them to resources, policy initiatives and business intelligence on market trends for four of the major geographic regions of the world: Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe and Middle East/Africa.

Together we can help Florida become the number one hub for global trade. Join the state’s international business community at the Florida Chamber’s International Days – a two-day event where the top international trade and industry experts will convene to discuss topics such as export diversification.

 

Share Your Story:

Can’t make International Days? Tell us your story and why international relationships matter to Florida by contacting Alice Ancona at aancona@flchamber.com.

About the Florida Scorecard:

The Florida Scorecard, located at www.TheFloridaScorecard.com, presents metrics across Florida’s economy. Each month, the Florida Chamber Foundation produces a Scorecard Stat that takes an in-depth look at one aspect of Florida’s economy. If you would like additional information on the Weekly Scorecard Stat or on the Florida Scorecard, please contact Dr. Jerry Parrish with the Florida Chamber Foundation at 850.521.1283.

Sec. Bill Johnson Discusses Peru, Marketing FL and Partnerships on Bottom Line

In Florida, global trade means high-wage jobs and economic prosperity. Florida is home to more than 60,000 firms dedicated to bringing their goods and services to consumers around the globe. International business and foreign direct investment accounts for approximately 17 percent of Florida’s economic activity, and directly supports more than 1 million Florida jobs.

In fact, this month, the Florida Chamber’s Director of Global Outreach, Alice Ancona, joined Secretary of Commerce Bill Johnson, Lieutenant-Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera and more than 80 Florida businesses on an economic development mission to Peru- Florida’s 9th largest trading partner. According to Secretary Johnson, so far, direct hard sales are at $27 million from the Peru trip.

“What we emphasized down in Lima, Peru and to our friends in Peru is that Florida is in the center of the hemisphere,” said Secretary of Commerce Bill Johnson.  “And Florida can provide you the opportunity for your company, for your business, whether you are importing or exporting- Florida can save you time and money. Florida should be your logistics center for everything you do.”

While Florida is quickly building a reputation as the global hub for international trade, we can do more to marketing Florida’s business friendly climate in the U.S. California, a state that has ranked as one of the worst business climates in the nation for the past 11 years, spends $50 million per year on out-of-state marketing. New York, home to the most expensive city in the nation, is in the middle of a $200 million ad campaign that promotes New York’s business climate as a place to start and grow your business.

“One of the most important things I hope to accomplish as the new CEO of Enterprise Florida is to gain the support of the Florida legislature in this area of marketing,” said Secretary Johnson. “I’m thankful to the Florida Chamber for the support, and our business community for the support, in really asking the legislature to allow us to work together to mount an intelligent campaign, to let not just Floridians know, but the United States and globally know, that Florida is the place to do business.”

To Secretary Johnson, moving Florida in the right direction means strategic partnerships that will help create jobs.

“The Florida Chamber without question is the best chamber in the United States- top leadership. I had the honor to serve on the Board of the [Florida] Chamber of Commerce for six years. I know the power of what the Florida Chamber of Commerce does and what it can do. Clearly, the Florida Chamber was instrumental in the creation, many years back, of Enterprise Florida. And today, as we continue to grow the economy and the number of jobs in our state, the Florida Chamber is one of the most important partner of ours at EFI. I am fortunate as the new CEO of this organization to have the support of Mark Wilson and the whole team of professionals here at the Florida Chamber. I cannot stress the importance of that strategic alliance and working together- that’s how we will grow Florida, that’s how we will strengthen this economy, that’s how we, together, will grow jobs in the state– through partnerships.”

Florida Chamber and Lima Peru Chamber Sign MOU Promoting Trade

Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera
On Hand for Signing

The Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Lima Chamber of Commerce today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to help promote trade and investment opportunities between Peru and the United States.

The signing included representatives from the Lima Chamber as well as Alice Ancona, Director of Global Outreach for the Florida Chamber, Lieutenant-Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera, and Florida Chamber Board of Director members Lee Sandler of Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A., and Bob Grammig, Partner at Holland & Knight.

 

International Relationships Matter to Florida’s Economy

Click here to register for International Days, held scheduled for April 7-9 in Tallahassee.

Florida Group Heads to Peru on Trade Mission

Government and business officials will try to make deals for Florida exports.

By Eric Kulisch
Representatives from the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Lieutenant Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera and Enterprise Florida, the state’s economic development arm, are on a trade mission this week to Peru to market Florida products.

Florida exported $2.8 billion worth of goods to the South American nation last year and new Enterprise Florida CEO Bill Johnson said the trip gives Florida companies the opportunity to meet current and future trading partners.

Gov. Rick Scott has identified trade, logistics and export-oriented manufacturing as strategic advantages and along with the legislature has invested in ports and programs to capitalize on them. About 17 percent of Florida’s economic activity and more than 1 million jobs are tied to international business and foreign direct investment, according to research by the Florida Chamber Foundation.

Peru has more than 30 million people, a strong economy that has grown at 5 percent for 15 consecutive years, and currently imports from Florida companies products such as industrial and electric machinery, fertilizers, vehicles, civilian aircraft and medical instruments.
Peru’s importance as a trading partner has grown in recent years since it became a founding member of the Pacific Alliance, which includes Mexico, Chile and Colombia. Together, the four nations represent about 37 percent of Latin America’s GDP and all have free trade agreements with the United States.

During the mission, the Florida Chamber and the Lima Chamber of Commerce will sign a memorandum of understanding to help promote trade and investment opportunities between Peru and Florida.

Although the focus of the trip is exports, participants such as Port Everglades and Miami-based trade attorney Lee Sandler will also spend time promoting South Florida as an import gateway for Peruvian grapes and citrus, according to Alice Ancona, director of global outreach for the Florida Chamber.

The U.S. Agriculture Department’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and U.S. Customs and Border Protection last year gave approval for the direct import of grapes from Peru after a trial project successfully demonstrated how logistics providers would use cold treatment techniques to prevent the introduction of fruit flies into South Florida. Previously grapes were required to be shipped to ports north of Baltimore where temperatures are cold enough to kill any fruit flies that avoid extermination and escape into the environment. Importing directly into Florida can save thousands of dollars in transportation costs per shipment and increase shelf life because the grapes don’t have to be trucked back for sale in Florida.

In January, APHIS and CBP began a pilot project on treating citrus from Peru.

Florida Chamber to Build Trade Relations During Peru Trade Mission

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Edie Ousley, 850-521-1231 or 850-251-6261
eousley@flchamber.com

 Peru Chamber of Commerce and
Florida Chamber to Sign MOU

TALLAHASSEE, FL. (March 20, 2015) – Building on Florida’s once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform Florida’s economy into a global hub for trade, logistics and export-oriented manufacturing activities, the Florida Chamber of Commerce will join Lt. Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera and Enterprise Florida on a trade mission trip to Peru next week.

Alice Ancona, Director of Global Outreach for the Florida Chamber; Lee Sandler, Member, Florida Chamber Board of Directors, Chair of the Florida Chamber International Business Council, and Founding Member of Sandler, Travis, and Rosenberg, P.A.; and Bob Grammig, Member, Florida Chamber Board of Directors and Partner at Holland & Knight, will lead the Florida Chamber delegation.

“The Export Development Trade Mission to Peru will give Florida companies the opportunity to meet current and future trading partners in one of the fastest-growing economies in Latin America,” said Bill Johnson, Florida Secretary of Commerce and CEO of Enterprise Florida, Inc. “Expanding the exports of Florida products to Peru even higher than last year’s $2.8 billion will expand Florida businesses and put even more Floridians to work.”

According to research from the Florida Chamber Foundation, international business and foreign direct investment account for approximately 17 percent of Florida’s economic activity, and directly support more than 1 million Florida jobs. With more than 30 million people and one of the strongest economies in South America, there is a strong potential for Florida companies to expand their exports to Peru. Florida currently exports many different types of Florida-origin products to Peru, including industrial and electric machinery, fertilizers, vehicles, civilian aircraft, and medical instruments.

“Trade missions are effective investments in future trade and are an important way for Florida companies to develop relationships with prospective trade partners,” said Dr. Jerry Parrish, Chief Economist at the Florida Chamber Foundation. “Companies that want to expand their exports often find that investing in relationship building leads to more success in finding trading partners and markets.”

Consider These Peru and Florida Facts:

  • With an estimated 229,000 Peruvian visitors to Florida in 2013, Peru is the 14th-highest nation for Florida visitors.
  • According to the Florida Visitors Study 2013, Peru is also the 9th-highest country in terms of tourist spending while in Florida, with more than $364 million spent in 2013.
  • Peru is Florida’s eighth largest trading partner with more than $2.8 billion in Florida products exported to Peru last year,
    Peruvian imports totaled $2.6 billion in 2013,
  • In 2013, Peru achieved its 15th consecutive year of economic growth at 5 percent and Peru continues to be one of the best performing economies in Latin America.

Building a global economy means opportunities for Florida’s small businesses as well. In fact, 95 percent of our state’s 60,000 exporters are small-to-medium-sized businesses that produce two-thirds of Florida’s total export value, according to the Chamber Foundation’s recent Peru Mission Equal Jobs and Economic Opportunity report.

“Big businesses can, in many cases, take care of themselves on this,” said Bob Grammig, Partner at Holland & Knight in a recent Florida Chamber Series on Free Enterprise interview. “But for smaller businesses, it’s very helpful to have an organization like the Florida Chamber to help drive necessary changes.”

The impact international relationships have on Florida’s businesses can be particularly helpful for small businesses trying to break into international trade like Florida Chamber Foundation trustee Endoscopy Replacement Parts.

“Global trade is an important part of not only our business, but also Florida’s future,” said John Hartnett, Vice President of Global Business Development at Endoscopy Replacement Parts. “The boost Florida companies receive to compete worldwide positions them in helping Florida further develop international business, help our diversification, and help create more jobs in our state.”

While on the Peru Mission, the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Lima Chamber of Commerce will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to help promote trade and investment opportunities between Peru and the United States. The Wednesday, March 25 signing will include representatives from the Lima Chamber as well as Alice Ancona, Director of Global Outreach for the Florida Chamber, Lieutenant-Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera, Lee Sandler of Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A., and Bob Grammig, Partner at Holland & Knight.

Others participating in the Peru trip include: CAMACOL, AMCHAM, Port Miami, Florida Department of Transportation, Port Everglades and more.

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The Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations, aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.

Florida Trade Missions Equal High Wage Jobs and Global Opportunities

The Sunshine State is home to more than 60,000 firms dedicated to bringing their goods and services to consumers around the globe. International business and foreign direct investment accounts for approximately 17 percent of Florida’s economic activity, and directly supports more than 1 million Florida jobs.

In Florida, global trade means high-wage jobs and economic prosperity. Economic development and trade missions with partners like Enterprise Florida, Inc. are one way to build Florida’s global economy. In fact, this month, the Florida Chamber’s Director of Global Outreach, Alice Ancona, will join statewide leaders, business and economic development professionals on an economic development mission to Peru. Secretary of Commerce Bill Johnson and Enterprise Florida will lead this effort.

“The Export Development Trade Mission to Peru will give Florida companies the opportunity to meet current and future trading partners in one of the fastest-growing economies in Latin America,” said Bill Johnson, Florida Secretary of Commerce and CEO of Enterprise Florida, Inc. “Expanding the exports of Florida products to Peru even higher than last year’s $2.8 billion will expand Florida businesses and put even more Floridians to work.”

With more than 30 million people and one of the strongest economies in South America, there is a strong potential for Florida companies to expand their exports to Peru. Florida currently exports many different types of Florida-origin products to Peru, including industrial and electric machinery, fertilizers, vehicles, civilian aircraft, and medical instruments.

Florida’s tourism industry benefits as well, with an estimated 229,000 Peruvian visitors to Florida in 2013, up 10 percent from 2012. This makes Peru the 14th-highest nation for Florida visitors. According to the Florida Visitors Study 2013, Peru is also the 9th-highest country in terms of tourist spending while in Florida, with more than $364 million spent in 2013.

With three major seaports and more than 5,400 miles of navigable waterways, Florida business have strong trade opportunities in Peru.

“Peru has a dynamic and expanding economy, and is projected to be one of the fastest growing in Latin America for years to come,” Enterprise Florida Senior Vice President of International Trade and Development, Manny Mencia said about the upcoming mission. “This presents unique opportunities for Florida exporters. If you look at the products that are in demand in Peru, they are all sectors in which Florida specializes. The market is well-positioned for Florida companies to expand, and there’s also interest from Peru in expanding relations with Florida.”

Consider these Florida trade facts:

The impact of global trade and building international trade relationships are key for a secure and sustainable future.

Share Your Story:

There are many tools available to help Florida’s diverse businesses take advantage of trade opportunities found in countries like Peru. What are some tools that have been effective in your community? We want to hear from you. Email jparrish@flfoundation.org today and share your story.

Join Us:

Register to attend the Florida Chamber’s International Days summit scheduled for April 7-9 in Tallahassee. Click here to register and to view the agenda.

About the Florida Scorecard:

The Florida Scorecard, located at www.TheFloridaScorecard.com, presents metrics across Florida’s economy. Each month, the Florida Chamber Foundation produces a Scorecard Stat that takes an in-depth look at one aspect of Florida’s economy. If you would like additional information on the Weekly Scorecard Stat or on the Florida Scorecard, please contact Dr. Jerry Parrish with the Florida Chamber Foundation at 850.521.1283.

Power to Peru: The (Quiet) Latin American Boom That’s Making South Florida Swoon

Peru is the loudest Latin American boom you’ve probably never heard – but should.

These are the kind of macroeconomic data that made the world swoon over Brazil in the 2000s:

  • Peru’s economy has grown an average of almost 7 percent the past four years. Wall Street expects equally robust growth for the next five years.
  • Wall Street also ranks Peru No. 2, behind only South Korea, when it comes to resisting external shocks to its economy.
  • According to the Peruvian Association of Banks (Asbanc), Peru’s poverty rate has been halved the past 10 years, from 50 percent to less than 25 percent. Asbanc estimates 60 percent of Peru’s population is considered middle class today, up from 25 percent a decade ago. Middle class figures are notoriously subjective, but even if Asbanc’s are exaggerated, Peruvians are undoubtedly climbing the ladder.
  • More important to South Florida, Miami-Dade County’s total annual trade with Peru has doubled since 2010 to more than $5 billion. In the past couple years the country has moved from Miami’s 13th largest trade partner to its sixth largest.

So why has Peru been flying under the radar while the likes of Brazil, Chile and Colombia have been beating their chests, ripping off their jerseys and roaring like strikers scoring in the World Cup?

“It wasn’t intentional,” says Erick Aponte, who is Peru’s trade commissioner in Miami and the U.S. Southeast. “But I think the numbers show we’re reaching the right people in the business community.”

This is still Peru, an Andean nation that has seen more upheaval than upturn over the past half century, and its current economic surge hasn’t erased all its problems. In fact, it’s hard not to be concerned about Peru’s security given that it recently passed Colombia as the world’s No. 1 cocaine producer – and that remnants of the Shining Path guerrillas who terrorized the country a generation ago are traffickers.

But any investor anxiety seems muted: Peru enjoys Wall Street’s second-highest investment rating in Latin America behind Chile. And here’s the best news: No U.S. or British newspaper has (so far) given Peru the kind of cheesy nickname – like “Inca Tiger” – that they foist on so many emerging economies.

We’ve been dependent on the commodities market, but you get to a point where you have to have other things to offer. –Erick Aponte

But what’s driving South America’s best kept secret? To a large degree, Peru is avoiding what has driven so much recent economic failure in South America: an overreliance on commodity exports. In the 2000s, global prices for raw materials were sky-high; since then, they’ve returned to earth, leaving economies like Brazil’s wheezing.

Peru seems to be making, as Aponte told me, “a strong effort to diversify our economy. For a long time we’ve been dependent on the commodities market – the gold, the copper, the zinc, silver. We’ve done well doing that, but you get to a point where to maintain growth you really have to have other things to offer.”

Those other things are value-added goods. Agricultural products, from asparagus to organic coffee to blueberries, loom large: Many of the fish-oil supplements on U.S. drug store shelves come from Peru.

“We’re among the top one, two or three exporters of all those [food] products in the world,” says Aponte, “and usually we’re No. 1 in terms of the United States market.”

But perhaps the most potential lies not in the wool of Peru’s famous llamas but in its pima cotton – and the clothing brands being created from it.

Peruvian pima, Aponte argues, “has been compared favorably to Egyptian cotton,” widely considered the world’s best.

CROCHET COUTURE

One of the most popular Peruvian apparel lines to emerge is Escudo, which wowed a number of couture bloggers in May during Miami Fashion Week. Escudo’s designer, Chiara Macchiavello, is known for incorporating traditional Peruvian weaving and crocheting into contemporary styles.

More surprising is that Peru’s boom is being overseen by Ollanta Humala, a former army officer and coup leader who was once a left-wing anti-capitalist. Since being elected President in 2011, Humala – perhaps seeing the success of other moderate-leftist South American governments – has pursued a more business-friendly mix of capitalist growth and socialist projects.

“That’s clear,” says Aponte, “in terms of the growth of our middle class and our ability to lower our poverty rate.”

As for the security questions, Aponte insists “they haven’t been an issue” with foreign investors, who in the past two years have poured more than $20 billion into Peru.

Truth is, that might not be trade commission spin. One of the other curious things about Peru is that, unlike other drug-infested countries in the region such as Mexico, Honduras and Colombia, the cocaine hasn’t produced carnage.

It seems more proof that an Inca sun is shining on Peru these days. Just please don’t call the country an Inca tiger.

Tim Padgett is WLRN’s Americas editor. You can read more of his coverage here.