Following a crisis in the 1980s, a rigorous stabilization
and restructuring program was introduced during the 1990s
with comprehensive economic reforms, such as the
privatization of virtually all state-owned companies,
liberalization of markets, creation of a freer and safer
investment climate, investment in export-led growth and wide
opening. to the outside world. The result was a dramatic
reduction in inflation and at times high growth rates, but
also great instability and a sharp increase in unemployment
and the informal sector. During the 1990s, the economy has
stabilized and GDP has continued to grow. Since the
mid-1990s, unemployment has also decreased slightly. It is
mainly the mining industry that is the dynamic sector in the
business sector, followed by construction as well as
agriculture and fishing.
countryaah, about half of Peru's agricultural land is located in the
Andean highlands, where cultivation of maize and potatoes
for self-sufficiency dominates, but large-scale livestock
farming also occurs.
Commercial and export-oriented agriculture is mainly
conducted on the coast and in the rainforest area, including
coffee and tea for the domestic market. On the eastern
slopes of the Andes are also grown the coca bush, whose
leaves are a traditional stimulant but also used for the
production of cocaine. Cocoa cultivation is important for
poor small farmers but varies widely; legal cultivation
covers about 100,000 ha.
The restructuring policy in the 1990s meant that export
crops and large farming units were favored while traditional
small farms were disadvantaged. At the same time, fruits and
vegetables, especially asparagus, have tended to replace
Peru's traditional export crops of sugar cane and cotton.
Peru is particularly exposed to El Niño, which causes
drought in some regions and floods in others.
The eastern slopes of the Andes and the adjacent
rainforest region in the east make up over 60 percent of the
land area and have a huge yet unexploited timber resource.
Primarily, the forest is used as fuel, and the timber
extracted goes to domestic consumption, among other things.
in the form of wood for the construction industry, furniture
manufacture and pulp. The timber resources in the east have
as the only transport route the river system via Iquitos and
further down the Amazon to the Atlantic.
From being of little significance in the early 1950s,
Peru's fishing expanded to become one of the world's largest
in 1970. Subsequently, it declined as a result of
overfishing. Measures were taken to allow a recovery to
occur. with a closed season. Catches are highly dependent on
cold bottom water rising up to the surface, which increases
food availability and attracts fish hours. The ocean
phenomenon of El Niño has repeatedly disturbed this, which
has led to catastrophic fishing seasons. The fishing
industry is mainly dependent on anchoveta for the production
of animal feed and fertilizer. In order to broaden the catch
base, large quantities of sardines, shrimp and mackerel fish
are now also being fished.
Peru has rich mineral resources, ties other gold, copper,
zinc, silver, lead, tin and iron, and is one of the world's
leading producers and exporters of several minerals. In the
early 1990s, the mining industry was in crisis, partly as a
result of high tax cuts in previous decades, but the state
managed to revitalize the sector by opening up for foreign
investment. The mining industry contributes about 7 percent
to GDP and together with the oil industry accounts for about
60 percent of the country's export income. The industry is
dominated by a few large companies, but there are also about
40 medium-sized and 500 small companies that account for 30
percent of production and a significant portion of exports.
In 2002, operations began in Antamina, one of the world's
largest copper and zinc deposits.
After the stagnation of the 1980s, the oil sector also
expanded during the 1990s. The former state oil sector
underwent extensive privatizations during the 1990s. Oil is
extracted in the northern coastal area, on the continental
shelf and in the increasingly dominant eastern rainforest
region. During the 1980s, large natural gas resources were
discovered in eastern Peru, and in 2004 natural gas began to
be extracted in the southern parts of the country.
Peru has large energy resources in the form of fossil
fuels. In addition to oil, there are also large natural gas
deposits in eastern and southern Peru. The southern gas
fields have been linked to Lima via a pipeline across the
The height differences of the Andes and the water-rich
rivers offer the possibility of great expansion of water
energy. One problem, however, is the poorly developed
infrastructure, which means that about 5 million Peruvians
do not have access to the electricity grid. Although only a
small part of the country's potential water energy is
developed, it covers 70 percent of the country's electricity
For a long time, the mining industry is Peru's most
important industry. Primarily, copper is refined. Lead,
silver, zinc and iron are usually exported as raw materials.
The manufacturing industry's share of GDP has fallen from
around 20 per cent in the mid-1990s to just under 15 per
cent in 2015, mainly due to increased competition from
abroad following liberalization of trade policy. The
industry, which is concentrated in the metropolitan area, is
primarily based on raw materials extracted or produced in
the country, such as the refining of minerals, petroleum,
agricultural products and fish.
Due to deregulation and an overvalued currency, imports
gradually increased during the 1990s, leading to large trade
and current account deficits. It was not until 2002 that the
country - for the first time in twelve years - could show a
trade surplus. Peru has subsequently had a positive trade
balance. Exports are dominated by raw materials such as
minerals and agricultural products. China and the United
States are by far the country's most important trading
partners. On the import side, Brazil is also important and
on the export side Switzerland.
Tourism and gastronomy
Peru is one of South America's foremost tourist
countries. In 2015, the country was visited by 3.5 million
tourists, and tourism contributes about 10 percent to both
GDP and employment. The country has several major tourist
destinations such as the cities of Lima and Cuzco, the city
of Machu Picchu and the highlands including Lake Titicaca.
The capital of Lima gives a contradictory impression,
with stately churches and palaces from the colonial era and
several internationally renowned museums with collections
from the country's rich ancient American cultures, but also
with a rather declining urban environment and worn suburbs.
In the area north of Lima there are remains of the ruins of
the high cultures, such as Chavín de Huántar, and several of
the coastal cities have interesting colonial architecture.
In the highlands, the historic heart of Peru, is the city
of Cuzco 3 400 m above sea level, with churches and
monasteries from the Renaissance and Baroque, in several
cases on pedestals from the Inca of artificially joined
boulders without masonry or joints. On the heights of the
city are the Inca temples with breathtaking views of the
The big destination, however, is Machu Picchu, the
rediscovered inner city with ruins of temples, palaces and
residences, about 70 km northwest of Cuzco. A narrow-gauge
railway leads there, but you can also hike along the inca
trail, which also passes other interesting ancient sites.
Hiking in these areas also provides interesting experiences
of the rich bird and plant life.
From Cuzco you can also take a train across the Andean
plateau to Puno and Lake Titicaca, where you can visit
villages that float on the reeds off the beach. In the south
is Nazca with strange giant figures and symbols commissioned
as huge contours of the landscape, and in the south-east of
the country lies Manú National Park with large predators,
tapirs and rare birds.
Many features from Ancient American times remain in
Peruvian cuisine, which usually has a fairly strong
seasoning. The Inca Indians and even their predecessors
cultivated a large number of different potato varieties, and
the potato is still today the main ingredient in many
dishes. Mixtures of a variety of ingredients are a feature
of the country, the preference for thick chupes,
eggs and milk products another.
The herb palillo is used extensively to give the
dishes an appealing yellow color. Meat (chicken, pork or
goat meat in combination with corn and potatoes) is often
cooked in an oven. A specialty for the country is spit with
spicy ox or calf hearts, anticucho. Along the coast
there are countless varieties of ceviche, raw
marinated fish with lime, onions, tomatoes and corn.
Maíz morado is a purple-colored form of corn,
which is used for, among other things, desserts. Otherwise,
the desserts are usually based on milk, eggs, almonds, nuts
and spices. The Nougat (turrón) is famous. For food
you can drink wines from the Ica region south of Lima, or
also the light beer from Lima, Cuzco or Arequipa. The Indian
corn beer chicha can be treacherous due to high
alcohol content. The wine growers also make a grape brandy,
pisco, which is an important ingredient in drinks.