Daily VideoMarch 31, 2010
Peru Welcomes Economic Growth
Peru has not always been associated with robust economic growth. But, thanks to demand from China for Peruvian raw materials, the mountainous South American country now has one of the region’s strongest performing economies.
Even when the world was in a serious economic downturn, people still wanted to buy what Peru had to sell: the products of mines, farms and an enormous fishing fleet. And, during that time, Peru’s once problematic hyperinflation gave way to a stable currency and a stable government.
Peru’s economic future looks bright, too – a planned transoceanic highway to Brazil coupled with closer relations with the U.S. and China all point to success for many Peruvians in the coming years. But, questions still loom about whether the economic benefits will trickle down to its poorest citizens.
“You can tell the difference between this government and the last. There is less hunger. Things nowadays are very different from what they were before. It was a radical change for the better.” – Wilmer Gonzalo, shopkeeper
“We paid some of our debts, and then we opened our doors to foreign investment, which led to a boom in foreign investment, to a lot of capital that helped us to modernize and change our productive system and make our economy more efficient.” – Francisco Sagasti, economic consultant
“Despite considerable rates of economic growth for eight years, inequality in the region has not decreased. It has become more concentrated. That is, to put it in simple words, there are few people who are getting richer, and the majority are not seeing the benefits of economic growth.” – Alejandro Toledo, former Peruvian president
Warm Up Questions
1. Where is Peru?
2. What are the elements of a healthy economy?
3. What is inflation? Why is it bad for an economy?
1. How would a transcontinental highway to Brazil help Peru’s economy? Use specific examples.
2. How has life improved for some of Peru’s average citizens because of economic growth? Cite examples from the video.
3. Why would native people in Peru’s Amazon region be opposed to using their land for mining and development? Are there arguments over mining and development in the United States? What are they about?
4. Why might it be difficult for some of Peru’s newfound riches to reach its poorest people? What could the government do to help the poor?
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