Students in Lima demonstrate their commitment to the UN’s sustainable development goals.
Peru is amongst the top 40 economies by GDP, has a reasonable balance of payments position, low inflation and established global trade deals.
Unlike many countries in this position, they are not yet members of the ATA carnet family but are about to join. Their Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism has announced full compliance, with implementation soon to follow.
Their economic progression is phenomenal, after a post colonial history of internal conflict, constitutional crises and coups. Associated issues such as corruption, hyperinflation and the cocaine trade not helping.
The country’s wish to replace these problems with sustained democracy, the rule of law and wider social justice is evident. They equally believe that doing so will require economic competitiveness.
How Carnets Can Help
Trade with China, the USA, Brazil, alongside others has led Peru’s economic march and deserves recognition. This is still largely based on raw materials exports, with most technology, equipment and related skills imported.
Replacing those internally will build a long term asset and help to improve wealth distribution, a key stability need for any state. Neither are commodities a truly stable base, or ecologically rational for much longer.
The Peruvian government is trying to strike a balance. Formalising the employment market and investing in infrastructure, whilst reducing taxes for smaller businesses and making their formation easier.
SMEs are growing in number and confidence, a recent national survey saw over 60% looking to grow, hire more workers. The most notable challenge they highlighted was finding more customers, especially overseas.
More than 20% of SMEs currently exporting use Facebook as a core platform for business elsewhere. A laudable effort, although a prime reason is the difficulty and cost of travelling overseas to show their products.
Overcoming this barrier is one of the reasons ATA carnets exist, there to be used for commercial samples, business exhibitions and trade shows.
Long Term Goals
As happened with the Russian World Cup and Brazil’s Olympics, events can stimulate timing. Peru will host the Pan American Games in 2019.
Seeing these as a prime reason for a country to expand use of, or start to use ATA carnets is still a narrow concept. Benefits will extend way beyond an event and the governments involved recognise this.
In Peru’s case, building a more diverse and profitable internal economy is a sound route to improving social cohesion. Side benefits such as reducing rain forest damage and needing to broaden education are no bad thing.
Striking a balance between spending and production capacity, or export incentives versus import demand is a complex task. There is more to achieving this than adopting a new form of temporary export.
Even so, as we have seen elsewhere, including in Peru’s leading partner, China, making life easier for businesses to sell overseas can have a remarkable effect.
We want to see Peru succeed, hard to find a nation with friendlier people, who deserve stability in the future. An ATA carnet is just a document, but we hope and believe this will help.