Country Profile Peru

Jun 29, 2012 by Emmanuel Besserve

Country Profile PeruAncient Peru was the seat of several prominent Andean civilizations, most notably that of the Incas whose empire was captured by the Spanish conquistadors in 1533.

  • Capital: Lima
  • Population: 29,549,517 (July 2011 est.)
  • Currency: Nuevo Sol (PEN)
  • Language:
    • Español (official)
    • Quechua (official)
    • Aymara
    • Gran cantidad de lenguas amazónicas menores
  • Time zone: UTC-5
  • Government: Constitutional Republic
  • Chief of State: Ollanta Humala Tasso
  • Country Dialing Code: +51
  • Emergency Number: 105 to call police
  • National Airline: LAN Peru
  • Voltage: 220

Detailed country profile

ECONOMY

GDP real growth rate:

  • 6.9% (2011 est.)
  • 8.8% (2010 est.)
  • 0.9% (2009 est.)
  • 9.2% (2008 est.)
  • 9% (2007 est.)
  • 7.6% (2006 est.)

GDP-Composition by Sector (2011):

  • Agriculture: 8%
  • Industry: 38%
  • Services: 54%

Labor force by occupation (2005):

  • Agriculture: 0.7%
  • Industry: 23.8%
  • Services: 75.5%

Agriculture products:

  • Asparagus
  • Coffee
  • Cotton
  • Sugarcane
  • Rice
  • Potatoes
  • Corn
  • Plantains
  • Grapes
  • Oranges
  • Coca
  • Poultry
  • Beef
  • Dairy products
  • Fish
  • Guinea pigs

Industries:

  • Mining and refining of minerals
  • Steel
  • Metal fabrication
  • Petroleum extraction and refining
  • Natural gas
  • Fishing and fish processing
  • Textiles
  • Clothing
  • Food processing

Exports:

  • $46.27 billion (2011 est.)
  • $35.56 billion (2010 est.)

Export Commodities

  • Copper
  • Gold
  • Zinc
  • Crude petroleum and petroleum products
  • Coffee
  • Potatoes
  • Asparagus
  • Textiles
  • Fishmeal

Main Export Partners:

  • China 15.2%
  • Switzerland 13%
  • US 12.7%
  • Canada 9.1%
  •  Japan 4.8%
  • Germany 4.2%

Imports:

  • $36.97 billion (2011 est.)
  • $28.82 billion (2010 est.)

Import commodities:

  • Petroleum and petroleum products
  • Plastics
  • Machinery
  • Vehicles
  • Iron and steel
  • Wheat
  • Paper

Import partners:

  • US 19.5%
  • China 16.6%
  •  Brazil 6.5%
  •  Ecuador 5.2%
  •  Argentina 4.8%

Ports and Terminal:

  • Callao
  • Iquitos
  • Matarani
  • Paita
  • Pucallpa
  • Yurimaguas

 Note - Iquitos, Pucallpa, and Yurimaguas are on the upper reaches of the Amazon and its tributaries

 Unemployment rate:

  • 7.9% (est. 2011)
  • 7.9% (est. 2010)

GOVERNMENT

Government Type: Constitutional Republic

Executive Branch:

Chief of state: President Ollanta Humala Tasso (since 28 July 2011)
First Vice President Marisol ESPINOZA Cruz (since 28 July 2011)
Note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
Note: Prime Minister Oscar VALDES Dancuart (since 11 December 2011) does not exercise executive power; this power rests with the president.
Cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
Elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for nonconsecutive reelection); presidential and congressional elections last held on 10 April 2011 with runoff election held on 6 June 2011 (next to be held in April 2016)

Legal system: civil law system

GEOGRAPHY

Land Boundaries:total: 7,461 km

Border countries:

  • Bolivia 1,075 km
  • Brazil 2,995 km
  • Chile 171 km
  • Colombia 1,800 km
  • Ecuador 1,420 km

Climate:Varies from tropical in east to dry desert in west; temperate to frigid in Andes

Terrain:Western coastal plain (costa), high and rugged Andes in center (sierra), eastern lowland jungle of Amazon Basin (selva)

Elevation Extremes:

  • Lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
  • Highest point: Nevado Huascaran 6,768 m

Natural resources:

  • Copper
  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Petroleum
  • Timber
  • Fish
  • Iron ore
  • Coal
  • Phosphate
  • Potash
  • Hydropower
  • Natural gas

Environment and international agreement:

Party to:

  • Antarctic-Environmental Protocol
  • Antarctic-Marine Living Resources
  • Antarctic Treaty
  • Biodiversity
  • Climate Change
  • Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
  • Desertification
  • Endangered Species
  • Hazardous Wastes
  • Marine Dumping
  • Ozone Layer Protection
  • Ship Pollution
  • Tropical Timber 83
  • Tropical Timber 94
  • Wetlands
  • Whaling

Environment and current issues:

  • Deforestation (some the result of illegal logging)
  • Overgrazing of the slopes of the costa and sierra leading to soil erosion
  • Desertification
  • Air pollution in Lima
  • Pollution of rivers and coastal waters from municipal and mining wastes

PEOPLE

Ethnic groups:

  • Amerindian 45%
  • Mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 37%
  • White 15%
  • Black, Japanese, Chinese, and other 3%

Languages:

  • Spanish (official)
  • Quechua (official)
  • Aymara
  • Large number of minor Amazonian languages

Religion:

  • Roman Catholic 81%
  • Seventh Day Adventist 1.4%
  • Other Christian 0.7%
  • Other 0.6%
  • Unspecified or none 16.3% (2003 est.)

HISTORY

Express History

Ancient Peru was the seat of several prominent Andean civilizations, most notably that of the Incas whose empire was captured by the Spanish conquistadors in 1533. Peruvian independence was declared in 1821, and remaining Spanish forces defeated in 1824. After a dozen years of military rule, Peru returned to democratic leadership in 1980, but experienced economic problems and the growth of a violent insurgency.

President Alberto FUJIMORI's election in 1990 ushered in a decade that saw a dramatic turnaround in the economy and significant progress in curtailing guerrilla activity. Nevertheless, the president's increasing reliance on authoritarian measures and an economic slump in the late 1990s generated mounting dissatisfaction with his regime, which led to his ouster in 2000.

 A caretaker government oversaw new elections in the spring of 2001, which ushered in Alejandro TOLEDO as the new head of government - Peru's first democratically elected president of Native American ethnicity.

The presidential election of 2006 saw the return of Alan GARCIA who, after a disappointing presidential term from 1985 to 1990, returned to the presidency with promises to improve social conditions and maintain fiscal responsibility. 

Source: The world factbook www.cia.gov

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Peru
About The Author
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Emmanuel Besserve

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