President Ollanta Humala said that mining companies should help Peru reduce its dependency on metal prices, according to daily Gestion.
Humala’s speech, which was read by Mines and Energy Minister Eleodoro Mayorga during the 11th International Gold and Silver Symposium held this week in Lima, called for mining companies to use their knowledge and technology to provide added value to other sectors of Peru.
Humala said this would help reduce the Peruvian economy’s dependence on commodity prices.
“I ask all of you who have the capacity to use your knowledge, resources and technology from that industry to create in the Peruvian economy a better production capacity… that will increase competitiveness, formal employment, local controls and so reduce dependency on an economy based on the success of prices of raw materials,” Humala’s speech read.
Humala said that this would not only benefit Peru’s broader economy, but also support miners operating in the Andean nation.
In a debate during the symposium — attended by leading mining companies, executives and diplomats — three former Finance ministers gave their opinions on whether Peru was so dependent on raw material exports that it had undermined industrialization. Semana Economica reported that Luis Carranza noted the 65 percent growth in agricultural productivity over the past 10 years which would in the future belie the perception of being solely a primary export economy, while Pedro Pablo Kuczynski believed that Peru’s economic growth should not look to the United States as its model but that it should turn to Australia, Norway and Canada as examples of the bigger picture to establish growth based on the country’s strengths.
Peru’s economy depends on the mining sector for more than 50 percent of its export revenue. Peru is a major copper, gold, silver and zinc producer. It also produces lead, tin, iron and other minerals.
Humala’s speech was read during the final day of the National Mining Society’s (SNMPE) three-day Gold Symposium.