UNO December 2013

Urgent opportunities and tasks


Being the second safest country to invest in Latin America is not only something to be proud of for any Peruvian, especially for one who works in financial consulting like me, but it is also a perfect moment from which we should take advantage of to the maximum, as business men, as government, as a country, but also as a region.

inPERU was born with the objective of taking advantage of this moment (when it was still not so supreme, or so tangible), to manage to turn a good perception into a good investment opportunity. This initiative of the Peruvian businessmen, which counts on the support of the Peruvian Government and its authorities, has already visited 10 of the main cities of the world, putting Peru in the eyes of international business men, highlighting the diverse reasons and facilities why the country should be an investment destination.

In this fifth roadshow in the Pacific Alliance there are many more challenges, since it is not only a matter of promoting the interest to invest in Peru, because the commercial relation between Peru, Chile, Colombia and Mexico already exists; but we want to be the driving force for Chileans, Columbians and Mexicans, which are already considering expanding, take the decision to invest in Peru, especially those for whom this would be their first experience outside of their country of origin.

We are interesting countries for investors, but separately we are small markets, together we are much more attractive and comparatively competitive

For this, it is of primary importance to promote the various opportunities that we offer as a country to capture investments such as: legal respect towards private investment, being a constitutional right; accountancy facilities, the companies can have accounts in dollars, soles and even euro; the inflation has been at a constant average of 2,5% in the last 10 years; we have 68,000 million dollars in reserve, which is the equivalent of 18 months of imports and the debt of the country against GDP is only 20%, more than 50% of this debt is in soles and is restructured to 13 years.

It is important to take into account that the biggest challenge is that as they are neighboring countries (Mexico not so close, but still from the same community), speak the same language, have similar cultures, count on mutual investments, amongst others, the barriers are eliminated and although we can see ourselves as competitors in a globalized world, we consider that it is more strategic to see ourselves through the lens of opportunities, which are many.

So, we must identify circumstances to work together, improving the present investment between companies from countries of the Pacific Alliance, promoting the generation of more “multilatinas” companies, detecting market niches that can be served by production from the countries of the Alliance, facilities for training initiatives and recruitment procedures for human talent, amongst others.

The markets of Peru, Chile, Colombia and Mexico could see ourselves as competitors in the globalized world. It is more strategic to see ourselves through the lens of opportunities, because they are many

Even though it is probable that these opportunities have political components, it is also true that from the business space many actions can be taken to improve things; one clear example of this is the Latin American Integrated Market (MILA); and in the case of Mexico, the trading of the Stock Exchange of Mexico on the Stock Exchange of Lima, which even has a representative on the board.

On the other hand, a third objective in this roadshow of inPERU is to lay the foundations for the Pacific Alliance initiative to continue to have a life through facts and achievements, from the perspective of investment presenting itself as an alternative since it is a regional front.

The economic market made up of the countries that comprise the Pacific Alliance is in full dynamism and it is where the growth of the region is being promoted now. Although they are interesting countries for the rest of the world and for investors, separately we continue to be small markets, but together we are much more attractive and comparatively competitive.

For all this, one sine qua non condition is the union and compromise between the public and private sector. One of the main strengths of inPERU is that it is an initiative in which we can see in a concrete manner the support of the Peruvian government and the work as a whole with private business organizations, creating a synergy and very relevant comparative advantage.

The same is happening in each of the countries separately, months of work have gone by moving in the right direction and dismantling the barriers to generate first of all synergies, between our markets, and then with respect to the rest of the world. The important thing is to give a sense of urgency so that in the short run, we can deem many of these tasks to have been accomplished, but that, in addition, these efforts can be constant and transcend governments and the political actors. This is the only formula to show concrete results for the Pacific Alliance.

Christian Laub
Chairman of the Board of the Lima Stock Exchange and General Manager of Credicorp Capital
He is Chairman of the Board of the Lima Stock Exchange and General Manager (CEO) of Credicorp Capital, regional unit for Investment Banking of Credicorp Group. Prior to this, he headed the Corporate and Investment Banking Division of Banco de Crédito. He was the manager of the Corporate Finance and Capital Market Areas of Banco de Crédito, CEO of Credifondo SAF and Associate of Atlantic Security Bank’s Asset Management Area. He obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the Pacific University and a MBA from Harvard University.

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