- French Ambassador to Peru: Mr Fabrice Mauries (October 2014)
- Peruvian Ambassador to France: Mr Álvaro de Soto (February 2017)
Website of the French Embassy in Peru (in French)
Franco-Peruvian relations became significantly closer during the term of President Humala, who is a French speaker and a Francophile. His official visit to France from 14 to 16 November 2012 revitalized our bilateral cooperation in the academic, institutional, judicial, economic and commercial fields. Mr Humala was received again by the President of the French Republic in Paris on 9 October 2013, and then 1 July 2014. President François Hollande made an official State visit to Peru on 23-24 February 2016. This visit enabled several bilateral agreements to be signed – particularly in the academic, economic and environmental fields, as well as a cooperation agreement between the Peruvian government and the AFD – and highlighted the French-Peruvian space partnership (Peru Sat-1 satellite successfully put into orbit on 1 September 2016).
The Peruvian Presidency of COP20 (December 2014-November 2015) and the French Presidency of COP21 (December 2015-November 2016) were a chance to develop close bilateral consultations on environmental protection and combating climate change. A high-level French delegation (Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, Minister of State for Development and Francophonie) attended the twentieth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP20) in Lima in December 2014. France was also strongly represented at the Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Lima, in October 2015, by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, the Minister of Finance and Public Accounts, and the Minister of State for Development and Francophonie. On 30 November 2015, President Humala attended the opening ceremony of COP21 in Paris alongside President Hollande, a conference at which the Peruvian Minister of Environment, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, acted as a facilitator.
In April 2017, the French Foreign Minister, Mr Ayrault, received the second vice President of Peru, Ms Mercedes Aráoz, in Paris.
Website of the Economic Service in Lima (in French)
Total trade between France and Peru reached €680 million in 2015, up 29% on the €528 million in 2014. Our sales in Peru (€250 million) are much lower than our purchases in the country (€430 million), which are mostly made up of agricultural and agrifood products. Our trade deficit was €180 million in 2015 compared to €122 million in 2014, an increase of 48% (coverage rate of 58% in 2015, 62% in 2014). This result can be explained by a significant increase in our imports (up 32%), which is higher than our exports (up 24%).
In 2014, Peru was ranked 93rd among our clients (8th in Latin America) and 70th among our suppliers, accounting for just 0.1% of French foreign trade.
Our two main export areas are the industrial sector, i.e. “mechanical equipment, electric, electronic and IT material” (€116.8 million, up 32%) and “other industrial products” (chemicals, pharmaceuticals, perfumes, cosmetics, etc. (€100.9 million, up 15%). The positive impacts of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Peru and the EU are beginning to be felt, including with regard to the food sector, as our exports have increased 47% to reach €17.3 million.
France continued to buy more Peruvian products in 2015 (€430 million, up 32% compared to 2014). This result can mainly be explained by the 25% growth in our agricultural, sylvicultural, fisheries and aquaculture products and by a new flow of natural gas purchases worth €47.7 million, accounting for 11% of our imports.
The 84 French subsidiaries registered locally, which are mainly situated in Lima, employ over 15,000 people and generate turnover of around $2 billion. These are mainly subsidiaries of major groups: half of the CAC 40 companies are present and several others are interested (EDF, Cap Gemini and Air Liquide), while others have distributors (Renault) or representatives (Société Générale) in Peru.
The space industry was given strong impetus in April 2014 with the signing of an intergovernmental agreement on the purchase of an earth observation satellite (Airbus Defense & Space), which was put into orbit in September 2016.
According to ProInversión, the Peruvian agency for the promotion of private investment, French foreign direct investment (FDI) in Peru totals $220.5 million, or about 1% of the total stock, making France the 15th-largest foreign investor and the 5th-largest among EU countries, far behind Spain and the United Kingdom (which rank first and second, according to the official figures).
The most striking example of the French-Peruvian economic partnership is Vinci’s buyout of an urban motorway concession in Lima, which at $1 billion, is the largest-ever French investment in Peru. The installation of the cable car system for the Kuélap site, whose concession was bought by POMA, also illustrates this.
The Agence française de développement (French Development Agency (AFD)) has been active in Peru since March 2013 and by February 2016 had granted €170 million in loans to Peru, one for social housing (€120 million loan for the “Mi Vivienda” social housing bank) and the other for sustainable agriculture [$50 million for AgroBanco agricultural bank]. Other co-financing projects will soon come to fruition [metro line 2: $150 million; water treatment in Lima with the Sedapal public firm].
Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation
Academic and scientific cooperation is a priority of the French-Peruvian bilateral relationship which was reiterated during President Hollande’s State visit to Peru in February 2016. This visit, which led to the organization of an academic and scientific forum and the signature of about a dozen agreements, helped give fresh impetus to our bilateral cooperation.
University partnerships and student mobility. With over 150 academic agreements between the countries (including about 15 dual diploma programmes), there are over 1,000 Peruvian students in France, where they make up the fifth-largest contingent of Latin American students. The agreement on the mutual recognition of diplomas and higher education study periods, which was signed in Lima in February 2016 and entered into force on 14 August 2016, strengthens these academic links. More generally, France ranks as the seventh most popular host country (and the third in Europe), with over 1,000 students of Peruvian origin enrolled in French institutions, after Spain (3,500), the United States (2,700), Italy (2,000), Brazil (1,400), Cuba (1,100) and Chile (1,100). Peruvian students in French universities can be broken down as follows: 43% are doing bachelor’s degrees, 43% are in master’s programmes and 14% are doing PhD programmes.
Over the past four years, the Peruvian scholarship programme “Beca 18 - excellence scholarships” enabled France to train over 200 Peruvian high-level technicians in strategic sectors for the country’s economic development (civil engineering, energy, telecommunications, agrifood). But despite the interest in this programme, due to budget constraints the Peruvian government has been forced to reduce the number of scholarships (about 20 new recipients in 2017, compared to about 100 in 2016).
These academic exchanges create a talent pool of young Peruvians trained in France whom the “France Alumni” platform (400 members) helps to encourage French companies set up in Peru to recruit.
In the area of assessment and accreditation, new cooperation is taking shape in partnership with the High Council for Evaluation of Research and Higher Education (Hcéres).
The AFD, meanwhile, is helping by supporting the development of the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP), which trains the country’s political and economic elite. In 2013, through its subsidiary PROPARCO, the AFD group granted a loan of $25 million to upgrade the PUCP campus. Two new AFD financing projects are underway at the request of the PUCP: firstly, creating the country’s first science and technology park ($22.5 million) in collaboration with the Sophia Antipolis technical institute in Nice, and secondly, building a gastronomic campus ($10 million).
Developing partnerships at PhD level is a priority. Building on the success of the doctoral school of life sciences (about 10 scholarships funded since 2013), a new French-Peruvian doctoral school in the area of geosciences, energy and the environment has just been created (two scholarships in 2017). These doctoral schools are the result of a partnership between the French Research Institute for Development (IRD) and several French and Peruvian universities.
Our scientific cooperation is essentially based around the IRD (French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development) and the IFEA (French Institute for Andean Studies), which are respectively celebrating their 60th and 70th anniversaries in Peru.
Both of these research organizations are recognized by scientific bodies in Peru, both in the area of research and training doctoral students.
For its part, the Foreign Ministry is supporting two French archaeological missions in Peru in 2017 (the Sechura project in the Piura region and the Animas Altas project in the Ica region).
Regional academic and scientific cooperation
Peru plays an active role in French regional cooperation programmes in South America. Peru is involved with the scientific cooperation programme in the area of information technologies and mathematics (7 projects underway, STIC AmSud and MATH AmSud), as well as the PREFALC academic programme (3 projects underway). These regional systems help to structure academic and research networks, in a partnership approach with France and South-South cooperation.
In the field of hospitality and catering, French expertise is promoted through schools such as those of Paul Bocuse, LeNôtre and Le Cordon Bleu Institute Peru.
The action of outstanding French NGOs, such as AVSF, is contributing to the development of the poorest rural areas.
Updated: 26 May 2017