September 1, 2009
by Lucien Chauvin
There is a new sense of enthusiasm in San Juan de Marcona, a small, windswept town in southern Peru, where the rolling desert meets the cold Pacific Ocean. Hotels and restaurants have opened and businesses are thinking about expanding after years of watching the population shrink. A renewed lease on life is due to a long list of investment projects that should have a significant impact on this town of 13,500 people located 530 kilometers from Lima. Marcona is a test case for Peru as it tries to build on years of steady growth to achieve per capita income levels on par with first-world standards by 2021, its bicentennial, a target set by president Alan Garcí
Billions of dollars in direct investment is poised to flow into Peru, one of the fastest growing regional economies. Social unrest and an LNG controversy highlight the risk.