The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) through its International Trade and Diplomacy Office (ITDO) is leading a trade mission to Peru, which is so highly anticipated that industry leaders from all regions of Peru will be traveling to Lima to meet the delegation. GOED is building on a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed in June with Peruvian President Ollanta Humala who agreed to host the upcoming trade mission, along with several Peruvian Ministers.

“Utah has a long and storied history with Peru. Our efforts on Peru, and specifically this trade mission, are the culmination of years of work from institutions throughout Utah and Peru. We’re simply building on the effort with greater focus,” Harvey Scott Director of International Trade and Diplomacy Office said. “I am confident as we help institutionalize these relationships, with clear purpose, we’ll see a measurable increase in Utah exports and Foreign Direct Investment.”

The trade mission to Peru left August 18th and has attendees from 38 companies with over 60 participants in total. As sponsor of this trade mission, Zions Bank will play a key role in the mission’s activities along with World Trade Center Utah. Other participants include Goal Zero, Alta Group, Morinda, Excend, ChispaVital and CoreBrace.

“Increasing international business and Utah’s exports are among our top priorities,” Daniel Leifson, ITDO Fellow said. “Helping strong Utah companies and institutions build relationships in Peru is personally rewarding and getting Utah’s best products and services to new markets helps sustain the state’s economic momentum.”

Utah’s relationship with Peru dates back to 1915 when Utah native Victor Vaughn Morris, a native of Salt Lake City, moved to Peru and opened The Morris Bar, where he invented the now famous Pisco Sour, Peru’s national drink.

Besides having a unique historical connection, Peru and Utah have a strong economic relationship. Last year, Utah became Peru’s largest export destination in the United States. The trade pipeline between the two countries is well established and growing in both products and services. Mining and medical devices are strong product exports while agricultural research, education and consulting services make up a few of the many service exports from Utah.

Peru has rallied to open doors for Utah universities and has made Utah’s trade relationship with Peru much easier to navigate for businesses. Several universities will be in attendance as well as one of Utah’s oldest educational institutions, Wasatch Academy. Brigham Young University, Utah Valley University, University of Utah, Utah State University, and Weber State University will showcase Utah’s focus on higher education, and will formalize a relationship with Peru’s National Authority on water with joint research on water purification technologies and agriculture.

With a positive boost from the Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (PTPA) that the United States government enacted in February 2009, the MOU and trade mission are not to be mistaken as the pinnacle of our relationship with Peru, but rather as a clear sign that we are functioning on a much more beneficial level now than ever before. The PTPA, like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), eliminates costly tariffs and provides a comprehensive security measure that covers environmental issues, intellectual property, and labor safeguards, and creates an ideal export destination for Utah’s business community.

“There is great power in trade agreements, and we see that as we celebrate 20 years of NAFTA,” Scott said. “We are optimistic about our continued success as we move forward with a focus on strengthening our trade relationships with our North and South American trade partners.”