—The Mincetur had estimated that exports would exceed US$64,000 million for this year. Is this possible with the current situation?
We believe that the results are positive, but we have several threats in front of us. The productive engine is being hit by uncertainty and social conflicts, seeking to apply protectionist measures that are not necessarily the solutions we have for us to continue generating employment and work for all.
LOOK | How will the Latin markets react to the rise in interest rates by the FED?
—What is your perception of the export outlook for this year?
Due to the social conflicts that took place in the past months, there will be an impact on the exportsdue to the lower concentrate [de cobre] exported from Las Bambas, for example, due to the conflicts it faced. Since the mining sector is the main exporter, the context of high international mineral prices should be favourable. [Sin embargo] The agro-export sector faces serious risks due to political uncertainty, higher costs that are not necessarily derived from internal issues, but have an external impact, due to the conflict [bélico] of Russia, the rebound of COVID-19 and the halting of irrigation projects. The success of the Peruvian agro-export sector should be coming to an end in 2023 if things continue like this.
—Then, the goal is not so feasible to reach?
It will be very difficult to reach that goal. We should reach the levels of 2021, that is my personal opinion, not of ComexPeru.
LOOK | High freight costs will impact 1.6% of world inflation: what is expected next year
—There is a fertilizer crisis, which would lead to a food problem and higher production levels. How does it affect agro-exports?
It can cause more damage in the small farmer, in family agriculture, which is used to buying urea and others in small quantities, and where the greatest impact is seen. However, we believe that the shortage of fertilizers and the current impact of a deficit of 180,000 metric tons of urea puts the 2022/2023 agricultural campaign at risk, and depending a lot on the size of the companies, I think it will affect half a million of commercial farmers who produce rice, corn, potatoes, among other products for mass consumption in the country, according to Bloomberg.
The price increase [del fertilizante] it has a direct effect on the price of food, making our basket more expensive internally, but it also makes many farmers who export reduce their hectare with which they sow in order to finance their harvest, affecting the amount exported.
—I ask about products where Peru is the leader in agricultural exports, such as blueberries, grapes, asparagus. Are any of these going to be affected by the urea issue?
According to our projections, no. With the rise in prices, obviously they are not going to be as competitive, but urea, we understand, is going to affect, but the impact on the three products that lead production is not greater. What is going to have the most impact is going to be the family basket.
LOOK | Elections in Colombia: how much do your investments weigh in Peru and how today is our third commercial partner?
—What is your opinion regarding the mining moment that is happening in the country? Are high prices going to accompany us in the future? Is there going to be a recovery in production?
Actually, we also depend on international factors, on supply and demand, on how much China buys as the main user of our metals. However, there is a demand that was not necessarily mapped or that we were not all aware of, and that is [la demanda] of metals to be able to face climate change and achieve the decarbonization of the industry. In general, we believe that there will be greater demand, especially for metals such as copper, which are needed not only for electric cars, but also for different products that help reduce the carbon footprint. We believe that this demand, which was not necessarily known by all, is going to help maintain international expectations about the metals that Peru also produces.
—But isn’t it going to be enough to see significant growth this year?
Not this year, but I think demand will continue. […] According to experts, the projection is that at least the demand that exists today will be maintained.
—Is there concern on the part of the union that a new investigation will be reopened on the subject of safeguards for the textile sector?
On the issue of safeguards, we believe that it is not convenient, they should not be approved, and the system we currently have should be maintained, so that the products that Peruvian citizens need to buy do not also become more expensive.
LOOK | Beyond the defeat: What will the Peruvian team lose after being eliminated by Australia?
—Looking at the scenario in general, do you see that the appropriate conditions exist to encourage investment in the country?
In reality, we need to strengthen the legal framework that we have, basically in the application of the regulations that exist, so that what both the president [Pedro] Castillo, the Minister of Economy and Finance offer our potential investors abroad.
The laws are given, we need them to be complied with and to show in the country that the State can work with the Peruvian businessman, regardless of their size, because we are partners to generate employment, to pay taxes and to be able to contribute to the State can also use those revenues […] in favor of providing better services for citizens in general.
—Is there concern about the fact that the Executive is involved in questions of a political nature and technical capacity?
Definitely. We have lost many professionals who worked in the State, […] and they are being replaced, in many cases, by some professionals who do not have the necessary experience. There are appointments that need to be reviewed and correct those that do not meet the experience and requirements that each position demands.