An open economy that welcomes UK business
Peru is a like-minded and open economy. The UK is the largest foreign investor in Peru, mostly in the mining sector. The UK and Peru have a broad trading relationship, UK products and services are recognised for quality and innovation. The UK-Andean trade agreement has governed UK trade with Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador since January 2021.
High demand for UK expertise
UK goods and services have a strong market profile and are increasingly in demand following the high profile success of the UK Peru government-to-government (G2G) agreement. This helped to deliver the Lima 2019 Pan American Games – the world’s third largest sporting event – with support from UK business. In 2020, the UK signed a new government-to-government agreement with Peru for a major reconstruction programme.
Top five UK goods exported to Peru, in the four quarters to the end of Q2 2022
|Road vehicles other than cars (intermediate)||88.5|
|Medicinal & pharmaceutical products||13.6|
|Scientific instruments (capital)||9.8|
|Plastics in primary forms||9.6|
ONS Trade in goods: country-by-commodity exports
Last updated: November 2022
Download the latest trade and investment factsheet for Peru.
Total import value (into the UK from Peru) and export value (from the UK into Peru) over time
|Year||Imports (£million)||Exports (£million)||Total trade (£million)|
ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: October 2022
Total trade is the sum of all exports and imports over the same time period.
Download the latest trade and investment factsheet for Peru.
Peru: at a glance
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Opportunities for exporters
Peru is the fifth largest economy in Latin America, in terms of purchasing power parity (Ernst & Young 2020). There are significant opportunities for UK companies across a wide range of sectors including mining, infrastructure, life sciences and healthcare, food and drink, automotive, security and clean energy.
Peru is one of the main global mining economies, it is the second largest global producer of copper, silver and zinc and the sixth of gold (World Mining Data, 2019). Being the largest foreign investor in the Peruvian mining sector, the UK is recognised as an important mining partner for Peru and UK products are considered of high quality among mining companies.
Supply chain opportunities
There are UK supply chain opportunities across the mining life-cycle. Typical projects involve construction and capital goods opportunities, comprising around 40% of each project. There are also opportunities in engineering, transport and services, and management and supervision.
Size and long- term nature of opportunities
It is estimated Peru has 200 operating mines and major projects waiting to be developed, worth USD 59 billion (Ernst & Young 2019). Mining represents 60% of Peruvian exports, and nearly 10% of the GDP (MINEM, 2019). Seven out of the ten largest copper producers globally are in Peru. Mining activity is led by the private sector operating under long-term licenses granted by the government.
Seven major mining projects are due to enter construction phase between 2020 and 2024. These are Quellaveco (£4.5 worth billion), Mina Justa (£1.4 million), Corani (£0.53 billion), Tia Maria and Michiquillay (£1.8 billion), Laguna Norte (£0.58 billion), Los Calatos (£2 billion) and the Mineral Railway Project (£2.2 million).
The Peruvian government has identified a basic access infrastructure gap of around £80 billion, and UK companies are well positioned to support Peru in tackling this. The UK and Peru have a very constructive infrastructure partnership. Establishing a joint public and private Infrastructure Task Force in 2018 to share experience and best practice from the Lima 2019 Games government to government partnership to a wider range of infrastructure projects in Peru.
Long term infrastructure plan with UK support
Peru launched its first National Infrastructure Plan for Competitiveness of 52 prioritised projects valued at £24 billion in September 2019, with technical support from the UK. This plan opens new partnership opportunities for the UK to support sustainable infrastructure development in Peru on a wide portfolio of projects. Different delivery models include Public Private Partnerships, public works, asset sales and the PMO model.
Reconstruction G2G project
In June 2020, the UK was selected as Peru’s delivery partner under a new G2G agreement for an ambitious reconstruction programme to rebuild crucial facilities damaged in the 2017 El Niño floods in Northern Peru and carry out flood prevention and resilience works. This project includes rebuilding 74 schools and 15 health centres.
Demand for UK infrastructure expertise
The UK’s recent success in supporting Peru with the delivery of major infrastructure projects has boosted the UK’s profile in the market. Some UK companies have recently established offices to work on projects in Peru or the wider LATAC region. UK expertise in project management, design, engineering and rail infrastructure is in demand.
There are opportunities for UK companies in Peru’s life sciences and healthcare market. There is growth in both the decentralised public system and the private sector, with increased health insurance penetration rates. Demand for pharmaceuticals, medical technologies, hospital design and management, mobile clinics and e-health and telemedicine is increasing.
Public-private partnerships (PPPs)
70% of Peru’s healthcare system is public, with a recent emphasis on PPPs to finance public infrastructure. Some key projects in the pipeline are the National Institute for Children and Adolescents (worth £130 million) and high complexity hospitals in Piura (£106 million) and Chimbote (£84 million).
The UK healthcare, life sciences sectors and healthcare system are highly respected in Peru for innovation and quality, and the universal coverage of the NHS. The UK is well placed to support Peruvian health sector initiatives and reforms as the country makes an investment of £14.4 billion to help close the health infrastructure gap. Growth areas include expansion of telemedicine and mobile hospitals for remote populations, quality elderly care and digitisation of medical records.
Growing and reforming sector
The Peruvian health system continues to experience significant reform. The Health Outlook for Latin America and the Caribbean countries recommend a healthcare investment of 6% of GDP in 2020, in line with the region’s average (World Bank, 2020). Health coverage has increased, with higher expectations of this from the population. Private clinic provision has expanded, with a growing middle class able to pay for private care.
There is a growing demand for security services and technologies from the UK.
COVID-19 has accelerated Peru’s digital transformation. Digital security is a priority, with increased demand for cyber security solutions for national critical infrastructure and in the commercial/finance sectors.
Strong brand recognition
UK companies are recognised in Peru for the innovative solutions they develop in response to the fast moving global threat landscape, as well as for their collaborative and transparent approach. For this reason, Peru is very receptive to UK solutions to a wide range of security challenges.
Check for trade barriers
Trade barriers, such as tariffs or taxes, can raise costs, cause delays, or even stop you from exporting. Check for any issues that may impact your business when exporting.
Check duties and customs
Find information on how to export goods from the UK. View the duties, rules, restrictions, and the documents you need for your products.
Doing business in Peru
Preparing to export
The Superintendent of Tax Administration (SUNAT) is responsible for the administration of tax and customs.
The VAT rate in Peru is 18%.
If your company is not operating in Peru, you can recover the VAT. Options to qualify include having invested at least £3 million and being at least 2 years at preoperative stage.
Holders of mine concessions and oil and gas agreements can apply for special agreements regarding this benefit.
Peru applies a 4 level tariff regime: 4%, 7%, 12% and 20%. The non-weighted average customs duty is 10.2%, whereas it was more than 60% in the mid-1990's.
Peru is party of more than 70 bilateral commercial agreements, including a free trade agreement with the European Union.
You must have a certificate from the Department of Medicine, Supplies and Drugs (website in Spanish) before exporting pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, biochemical preparations and medical equipment, devices and materials.
It can take up to a year to get the certificate.
The Environmental Health Department (website in Spanish) regulates imports of toys, food products, alcoholic beverages and insecticides.
Every product in Peru must have a label that includes:
- product name and country of origin
- expiry date and conditions for preservation (in Spanish)
- net content in units or mass of volume
- lot code number
- name, address and tax specification number of manufacturer, importer, packager or distributor in Peru (in Spanish)
- warning of any risk or danger in the product and care instructions (in Spanish)
The political constitution and the legal system guarantee:
- private property rights
- the fulfilment of contracts
- free capital transfer and remittance of earnings
- unrestricted access to internal and external credit
- unrestricted access to most economic sectors
There are restrictions which apply for security and air/maritime transport.
Check for any reported barriers to trading with Peru.
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Operating in Peru
Intellectual property (IP) rights are territorial. Rights granted in the UK do not provide protection elsewhere. You should consider getting IP protection abroad if you want to trade overseas or sell to overseas customers via the internet.
The Intellectual Property Office’s International IP Service provides practical information to help you protect, manage and enforce your IP in Peru.
British Businesses looking for IP support can also contact the IP Attaché for Latin America and the Caribbean.
While doing business with the Peruvian government, you will be asked to issue a bank guarantee prior to delivering the service. The details on the guarantee are set in the tender bases. Peruvian government does not usually make payments in advance, and payments are made upon delivery of the service.
Setting up a business
The options for doing business in Peru include:
- setting up a foreign owned company
- setting up a subsidiary office in Peru
- establishing a joint venture with an established company in Peru
- finding an agent or distributor
If you are doing business in Peru, you have the same rights as Peruvians, except within 50 km from the national borders. Real estate ownership is generally absolute. You need a real estate agent. Registering a property takes 33 days. Transfer of real property must be made by public deed.
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