The international forum and business roundtable “Biotrade, Sustainable Business Model and Social Inclusion”, celebrated at the Lima Chamber of Commerce on October 14th, generated business transactions expected to exceed US$7 million.

The Forum, one of the several initiatives demonstrating Peru’s commitment to open up to foreign trade, highlighted projects and accomplishments that the South American nation has achieved over the last decade. Peru has promoted the policies necessary to become a fertile ground for business opportunities dealing with the ingredients and products from the rich Peruvian biodiversity, and developed under models of sustainable development.

The well attended event took place prior to the 5th Expoalimentaria fair in Lima, October 15-17 and gathered over 200 key players from both the private and public sectors and active participation from national and international organizations.

The agenda included remarks from the Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism (Mincetur) Mrs. Magali Silva and a presentation by Vice Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism Mr. Carlos Posada Ugaz, and highlighted the milestones of biotrade activity in Peru in the past decade.

According to Mrs. Silva the current government aims to increase sustainable tourism and the biotrade of valueadded goods, two important economic sectors that make Peru a unique destination and will benefit many communities from the countryside, in particular those in the Andean highlands and the Amazon region.

Peru is a country with rich natural resources. “It has 84 of the 108 climate zones in the world,”said Mr. Posada Ugaz. “It has been ten years of intersectoral work. The active participation of our institutions teamed with the private sector has been pivotal in the development of biotrade in Peru. Only a public-private partnership can ensure that efforts and initiatives would not be left up in the air” .

Other speakers included Silke Spohn of the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), who shared the results of the initiative Perubiodiverso (PBD), a project started in 2007, co-financed with the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and an evidence that biotrade contributes to sustainable development and social inclusion.

At the business roundtable 37 producers of natural ingredients and foods from the rich Peruvian biodiversity were matched with 21 buyers from Canada, the USA, Brazil, Uruguay, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Finland, the UK, Australia, Japan and South Africa.

“The event has been a great success”, said Miguel Viana Rosa Perez of IPPN. “It was great to bring together entrepreneurs from different countries and to receive such a positive response from the Peruvian exporters”.

There was a good mix, with entrepreneurs from Arequipa, Cusco, Cajamarca, Junin, Lima and San Martin. Sacha inchi, maca, camu camu, yacon, purple corn, cacao, goldenberries and other dried fruits and medicinal herbs where the main products offered, along with chia, lima beans, quinoa and other Andean grains.

Biotrade is a tool which promotes sustainable development. Demand for foods with higher nutritional content and from companies that support organic farming, fair trade and more responsable consumption is growing. Peru has created a solid ground for partnerships between all stakeholders from producers and processors to traders, government and nongovernment institutions, and has become a strong supplier of raw materials derived from its native biodiversity. In 2012 exports of products derived from this sector reached USD 249.7 milion FOB. This year exports reached USD161.3 million FOB between January and August.

The International forum and business roundtable were a joint effort between the Lima Chamber of Commerce CCL, the Peruvian Institute of Natural Products (IPPN), the Peruvian Exporters Association (ADEX), the National Board for the Promotion of Exports and Tourism PROMPERU, the Ministry of Foreign Commerce and Tourism of Peru (MINCETUR) with the support of International organizations SECO- the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs and CAF, Development Bank of Latin America.