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In this blog, we will provide an overview of the current environment in Peru.
Peru: Reckoning with the Unknown
Over the past two decades, Peru has steadily gained ground as a major mining jurisdiction, while also making steady progress in the general advancement of its economy and the entrenchment of its democracy. However, new questions have now been raised about the country in the wake of the narrow election of Pedro Castillo, the candidate of Perú Libre, a political party with a Marxist orientation, as the country's new president. The party's election platform called for the full nationalization of the mining industry, as well as tax increases and, as in Chile, modifications to the country's constitution. These rapid political developments in Peru have caught many Canadian and other foreign mining companies, not to mention many Peruvians, off guard.
During the period between Castillo's election in early June and the appointment of his cabinet on July 30, many commentators predicted that Castillo's politics would be tempered as he assumed power. As evidence for this, they cited his appointment of some moderate technocrats, including a former World Bank economist, Pedro Francke, as his economic advisor, as well as the release of a plan for Castillo's first 100 days in office, which eschewed any talk of nationalizations and otherwise seemed more modest and incrementalist than the party platform. However, the cabinet appointments on July 30 rattled investors, as more radical figures assumed key roles, including Guido Bellido, a far-left hardliner, who will become the prime minister. In an apparent effort to calm the markets, the moderate, Francke, was confirmed as Economy Minister, in the evening, after most the rest of the cabinet had been named.7
The published plan for the first 100 days includes increases to taxes and mining royalties.8 But Franke has held consultations with miners and has reported an expectation of proceeding through "dialogue."9 Like his peers in Chile, he doubtless appreciates the need to keep the mining industry alive and healthy in Peru. Indeed, Peru is arguably even more reliant on mining than Chile (which is famously reliant on the copper business), given Peru's generally lower level of development and the fact that mines account for 60% of its exports.10
Still, the expectation is that taxes will rise, and the government may try to extend increases to companies that enjoy tax stabilization agreements. There is a relatively recent precedent for Peru setting aside its obligations under such agreements, in that another left-leaning president of Peru convinced miners to "voluntarily" renegotiate agreements less than a decade ago.11 Still, not all miners may be able or willing to consider changes, and any unilateral actions by Peru could well lead to international arbitration proceedings.
Climate of Uncertainty Could Generate Opportunities
In this climate of uncertainty, some are looking into insurance protection provided by the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, or to remedies under bilateral investment treaties, but there are others who are making new investments. Indeed, there may even be a buying opportunity for foreign firms, as smaller local firms, which are perhaps most exposed to political risks (given their lack of home-country backing), look to sell assets.
Canadian investors are afforded some level of protection by the bilateral investment treaty between Peru and Canada.12 The treaty prescribes, among other things, requirements for equal treatment, minimum standards of treatment, protection from unreasonable expropriation, rights to expatriate funds, and a prohibition on imposing performance requirements. Peru recently ratified the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free trade agreement between Canada and 10 other countries.13 This agreement provides Canadian investors with further protection and enhanced access to Peru.14
There may also be opportunities for local owners of mines and mineral properties to look to the TSX for reverse take-over opportunities, which could give Canadian status and treaty protections to their businesses.
在过去的二十年里，秘鲁作为主要的采矿管辖区的地位稳步上升，同时在全面推进经济和巩固民主方面也取得了稳步进展。然而，在秘鲁举行的总统选举中，左翼政党候选人佩德罗·卡斯蒂略 (Pedro Castillo) 获胜。作为该国的新总统，现在对该国已经提出了新的问题，这是一个具有马克思主义导向的政党。该党的选举纲领呼吁将对采矿业完全国有化、增加税收，并像智利一样修改国家宪法。秘鲁的这些迅速政治发展让许多加拿大和其他外国矿业公司，更不用说许多秘鲁人来说但是来一个措手不及。
在卡斯蒂略6月初的大选到7月30日内阁的任命期间，许多评论员预测卡斯蒂略上台后，政治局势将会受到缓和。作为证据，他们列举了他任命一些温和的技术官僚，包括前世界银行经济学家佩德罗·弗兰克（Pedro Francke）担任他的经济顾问，以及公布卡斯蒂略上任100天的计划，该计划回避了任何关于国有化的言论，和其他方面似乎比党纲更温和、更渐进。然而，7月30日的内阁任命令投资者感到不安，因为更激进的人物担任了重要角色，其中包括极左强硬派的吉多·贝利多（Guido Bellido）成为总理。为了平息市场，温和派的弗兰克在晚间被确认为经济部长，此前内阁其他大部分成员都已被任命。 7
关于公布的前100天计划包括增加税收和采矿权使用费。 8 但弗兰克已经与矿业企业进行了磋商，并表示希望通过"对话"形式进行实施。 9 和他在智利的同行一样，他无疑意识到有必要保持秘鲁矿业的活力和健康。事实上，鉴于秘鲁的发展水平普遍较低，而且矿产业占其出口的60%，秘鲁无疑比智利更依赖矿业（智利以依赖铜业而闻名）。 10
尽管如此，人们预计税收会增加，政府可能会尝试将增税范围扩大到那些享受税收稳定协议的公司。秘鲁最近有一个先例，搁置其在此类协议下的义务，因为秘鲁的另一位左倾总统在不到十年前说服矿业企业"自愿"重新谈判协议。 11 不过，并非所有矿业企业都能够或愿意考虑改变，秘鲁的任何单方面行动都可能导致国际仲裁程序。
秘鲁和加拿大之间的双边投资条约为加拿大投资者提供了一定程度的保护。 12 条约规定了包括平等待遇、最低待遇标准、防止不合理征用、资金流出权利以及禁止强加业绩要求等要求。秘鲁最近批准了《跨太平洋伙伴关系全面和渐进协定》，这是加拿大与其他10个国家之间的自由贸易协定。 13 该协议为加拿大投资者提供了进一步的保护，并加强了进入秘鲁的机会。 14
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