This week, I had the pleasure of traveling to Lima, Peru to further our business relations. I was invited by PromPeru (the national economic development agency) to speak at the Rueda de Negocios – an international manufacturing conference hosted in Lima.
I was honored to speak about “Doing business in Arizona” and spoke to the conference attendees about key industries in our State, key benefits to doing business in Arizona and resources available via our chamber. I also had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with over 20 Peruvian companies in cosmetics manufacturing, natural oils and wood manufacturing to discuss their preparedness for exporting and capital requirements.
Prior to attending the conference in Peru, our chamber worked to identify the resources we could provide to Peruvian businesses to further the relationship with our business community. Typically, we work with Mexican businesses, primarily in Sonora who have the advantage of geographic proximity and familiarity with the American markets. Lima, Peru is a cosmopolitan city of close to 9 million inhabitants and has diverse resources due to its coastline, highlands and nearby rainforest. Peru has a stable economy and with the recent election, a President-Elect who businesses believe will lead to great economic prosperity.
The primary challenge for most businesses I met with while in Peru was access to capital for exporting. I found that most of the manufacturers at the conference distributed product to nearby South American countries and Europe, but few had attempted the United States. PromPeru leaders and I discussed lending programs and the venture capital markets in the United States to determine possibilities in Peru. I was also honored to meet with the Governor of Tacna, Peru (the region bordering Chile) to discuss collaboration and to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between our Chamber and Tacna. Our plan is to focus on key industries and the creation of commercial trade missions between Arizona and Peru.
Over the last few years as our Chamber has built our international business network, we’ve received many requests for representation, and now offer an “International Representative Membership”. Foreign businesses interested in trade with the United States receive:
- Membership Directory listing with a web page in English to promote business in Arizona
- Email correspondence with businesses in Arizona on their company’s behalf
- Invitations to participate via Skype on key chamber committees
- Business matchmaking services
- Presentation of company’s material at an Expo in Arizona