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Country Profile: Peru at a glance


Three equal, vertical bands of red, white, red . On some versions the coat of arms is centered in the white band. The coat of arms features a shield bearing a vicuna (a relative of the llama), a cinchona tree and a yellow cornucopia spilling out coins (denoting mineral wealth).

Location: Western South America, between Chile and Ecuador and bordering the Pacific Ocean

Capital: Lima (pop. 9.9 million)

Other major cities: Arequipa (pop. 850,000); Trujillo (798,000)

Population: 30.4 million

Size: Twice as big as Texas (or about the size of Alaska)

Nationality: Peruvian

Ethnicity: 45% Amerindians; 37% mestizos

Official language: Spanish and Quechua (an Amerindian language)

Religion: 81% Roman Catholic

Government: Constitutional republic

U.S. ambassador to Peru: Brian A. Nichols

Independence: July 28, 1821 from Spain

Legal system: Civil law

Median age: 27 years

Urban population: 79%

Where the population lives: More than 50% lives on the coast

Obesity rate: 20%

GDP: USD$385.4 billion

GDP real growth rate: 2.4% from 2014 to 2015

Inflation: 3.2%

Labor force: 16.8 million

Ease of doing business index: 50 out of 189 economies

Fiscal year: Calendar year

Internet country code: .pe

Internet users: 16 million (52.6% of the population, but that number is growing rapidly)

Cell phone users: 6.2 million people

Phone code: +(51)

Time zone: EST +1 hour

Electrical: 230V and 60Hz

Visa requirement: Business people traveling to Peru where documents will be signed need to apply for a visa at the Peruvian Consulate before entering the country.

Vaccinations: Yellow fever is recommended

Transportation: Arrange with the hotel if possible, rather than catching taxis in the street.

Famous tourist spot: Machu Picchu, an ancient Incan city set high in the Andes mountains.

Culinary: A blend of Amerindian and Spanish food with strong influences from Chinese, African, Arab, Italian and Japanese dishes. Ceviche, lime-marinated seafood, originated in Peru. Another popular dish is anticucho, marinated meat such as beef heart, cooked on a skewer. Guinea pig is also common.

AMCHAM: American Chamber of Commerce website for Peru is www.amcham.org.pe

Examples of local franchises: Pardo Chicken (with one unit in Miami), China Wok and  Bembos, a hamburger chain.

Sources: CIA World Factbook, The World Bank, EasyLima website, Bloomberg, U.S. Commercial Service website, eMarketer

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