DUBAI, Peru's Trade, Tourism and Investment Office has revealed that exports from Peru to the UAE have risen by almost 10,000 percent in seven years.
Exports from Peru to the Emirates increased from US$6 million in 2011 to $600 million last year thanks to increasing demand from consumers and the ongoing work of the Trade, Tourism and Investment Office of Peru (TTIOP), the Dubai-based economic and commercial office of Peru's Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism.
Since 2016, major UAE businesses such as DP World and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority have made multi-million-dollar investments in the country's shipping, logistics and energy sectors thanks to the increase in trade and improving bi-lateral relations.
The Emirates imports vast quantities of goods from the South American country, including avocados, quinoa, and asparagus, gold, high-quality craft products and clothing.
The TTIOP has been able to increase exports to the UAE despite a variety of challenges, such as the distance between the two countries and a lack of awareness among businesses. But the biggest obstacle remains the absence of direct flights between the two countries, with cargo as well as airline passengers required to transit through other airports.
"Our greatest challenge is connectivity. It takes around 42 days to ship goods from Peru to the UAE, so produce is often shipped to a port in Europe and from there flown to Dubai," says Alvaro Silva-Santisteban, Director of the TTIOP.
"A connecting flight between Dubai and Lima would certainly help. Using a European hub means additional cost and thus a product that is more expensive, so your Peruvian avocado or mango is going to cost more. It also means tourists face issues in getting to Peru, especially UAE residents who prefer to fly direct with the country's major airlines."
d Peru, a country of 31 million people, more than 14,800 kilometers and nine time-zones away from the UAE, counts the Emirates among its top 20 export markets. At the same time, Emirati companies are investing in Peru's supply and logistics industries as they gain greater access to South America and global trade routes.
The range of goods Peru exports to the UAE ranges from commodities such as gold and glass to food and beverage items.
"We have worked hard to increase our gold exports since 2014," says Silva-Santisteban. "The UAE is now amongst the top six countries that Peru exports gold to and ranks as the number one individual product, however food has seen the greatest growth and is the most diversified basket of products we export to the UAE."
Peru's ability to out-perform countries that are not only larger but also closer to the UAE, and develop a market for its goods is the result of years of work.
The TTIOP was set up in Dubai in 2011, with the aim of encouraging not only companies in the Emirates to import products from Peru, but to also help businesses in the South American country to see the UAE as a lucrative market.
"The leap in exports from Peru to the UAE has been huge," says Silva-Santisteban. "The relationship between the two countries has grown in importance over the years to an extent that at the end of last year Peru became the second largest investment destination for Emirati companies in South America, and amongst the three biggest trading partners for the UAE in Latin America.
"Once every 15 days we have a delegation of UAE businesses visiting Peru, or companies from Peru travelling to the UAE. The UAE has become an important market for Peruvian companies. Businesses in both countries are seeing the benefits of trading here and in meeting UAE consumers' demand for Peruvian products and services. The aim now is to turn these steppingstones into pillars as we position Dubai as a platform for the region.In May, DP World sealed a US$316 million deal for Cosmos Agencia Maritima, the Peruvian container and logistics firm. It is now managing not only the major port of Callao, next to the capital Lima, but also the port of Paita, in the north of Peru, the second biggest in terms of movement of shipping containers.
"We have a very good relationship with DP World whereby Peruvian exporters receive benefits if they use Jebel Ali Port. What also helps, and is a competitive advantage, is the brand association, as we can say a Peruvian product departs from an Emirati company arriving into an Emirati Company.
"DP World, with the investment it has made, probably handles 90-95 percent of the total container exports from Peru."
Source: Emirates News Agency