The Trade, Tourism and Investment Office of Peru in Dubai (PROMPERU) has revealed that Peruvian exports to the GCC grew by 300%, driven partially by the agriculture sector.
Speaking to Caterer Middle East at Gulfood, PROMPERU director Alvaro Silva-Santisteban said: "when we arrived, our trade was around US $6.5million. Now, we are talking US$52 million in exports. So there’s been more than 300% growth, and from that, 50% is F&B.”
“The sector where we think we can generate the biggest ties is F&B. Gulfood is our biggest participation in the whole Arab world and it’s the biggest sector where we think we can make a difference,” he added.
PROMPERU was set up in Dubai in May 2011, to increase awareness of the South American nation’s products, which, according to Silva-Santisteban, was negligible at the time.
“The strategy we implemented when we arrived was to communicate, communicate, and communicate, because Peru is completely unknown. The same happens in Peru - if you talk about the Middle East or the GCC, the knowledge that they have is very little. So the aim was starting communicating in both parts of the world,” he explained.
The organisation is now changing its strategy to focus on 10-12 key products in the GCC market, while adding complementary products and services.
“We already have a base in terms of exports, we are already more or less known. The first two years we focused on communication. Now that we are going into the third year, we are going from communication, to positioning,” said Silva-Santisteban.
The products PROMPERU will focus on include asparagus, grapes, mangoes, avocados, paprika, seafood, ceviche, pulses, chocolate and cacao, snacks such as dehydrated food, and evaporated milk.