Antenna for Opportunities:
The role of the Trade Office of Peru in Canada
A key player in identifying needs in the Canadian market
Canada is the second largest country in the world, geographically speaking, yet has only 34 million inhabitants. This population is similar to that of Peru, but is spread over an area almost eight times as large. Further, Canada extends from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean, making travel within the country very expensive.
Canada and Peru signed a Free Trade Agreement in August, 2009, creating significant business opportunities for manufacturers and exporters in both countries. The Trade Office of Peru in Canada, OCEX Toronto, is an antenna for opportunities promoting Peruvian exports to Canada, disseminating Peruvian tourism and culinary arts, and encouraging joint ventures between companies from both countries. These linkages are extremely important because, in addition to "buy-sell" business operations that may not involve a long-term commitment, they also allow Canadian and Peruvian companies to get to know each other and establish a long term commitment. This leads to a sustainable business relationship based on future development and not only on temporary opportunity, which happens in countries where the demand is greater due to a larger population.
As a result, the OCEX is of vital importance for industrial development in Peru. The close Canada- Peru relationship in the mining sector has led to significant development in the metal-mechanic industry because mining is the driving force behind the supply chain. Further, many industries that supply the mining sector have developed and modernized. Ten years ago everything was imported and plants were built under "turnkey" contracts. Today, however, these plants are designed and developed with state-of-the- art technology by Peruvian enterprises, which even export to Canada and other international markets. All of these business opportunities form part of the agenda of the OCEX Trade Office, which works very closely with trade associations and Peruvian producers to identify niche markets in order to locate opportunities, allowing access to a medium-size Peruvian company and its products, thanks to its great versatility and rapid response.
Therefore, it is appropriate to call the OCEX "an antenna of opportunities" because it allows for the monitoring and reception of correct signals about market requirements. Definitely, this "antenna" has to be properly directed in order to receive and retransmit the best signals to those who are, or could be, the next exporters of Peruvian products to an ideal market like that of Canada. The opportunity exists: the challenge is to tune in correctly.
José Luis Peroni
Trade Office of Peru-OCEX Toronto