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April 20, 2011 8:49:25 | in tourism

Young and French, she bet on crepes in Peru

Beso Frances, crepes in Peru
Samantha Lafosse-Marin, 26, French, expecting, and quietly starting a crepe empire in Peru. (Photo: Juan Ponce/El Comercio)
Here's the story behind Beso Frances, Peru's first crepe chain.

By Antonio Orjeda, El Comercio
Translated by Lucia Subauste



She closed 2010 with revenues she couldn't have predicted not even in her most optimistic projections – and that's after her walk-by stands opened “late” in September, October and November, says a smiling Samantha Lafosse-Marin.

Born in the island of Martinique, France, she is 26 with a belly that gives away her happy state of pregnancy. Beso Frances, French Kiss, is the name she created last summer at Asia Boulevard with Mónica Suárez, her business partner and sister-in-law. They’ve got stands at Jockey Plaza, Open Plaza Angamos and Regatas Club.

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March 29, 2011 11:21:52 | in marketing

Peru finally has a country brand

peru
The new Peru brand moves away from the Inca identity.


By Beatrice Ciabatti

After waiting many years, Peru has finally a country brand. Futurebrand was the company in charge of developing the brand that shows the word Peru in white on a red background, just like the colors of the Peruvian flag. Approximately $900,000 was the cost of creating the country brand.


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March 28, 2011 13:40:46 | in General

INTERVIEW: Pardo's Chicken of Peru turns 25

Peru
Willy and Elsa Wong started Pardo's Chicken 25 years ago. The pollo a la brasa chain is now in the U.S., Mexico and Chile.

By Marie Alvarez-Calderon

While talking with some of my tai chi friends the other day, I was surprised to find out that the slender blond in front of me was Elsa Wong, wife of the founder of Pardo’s Chicken, Willy Wong.

I couldn’t believe my good fortune, as this restaurant is popular with both Peruvians and non-Peruvians, both here and abroad. Of course I was curious about how they got started, so I began asking a few questions.

When and where did you open the first Pardo’s Chicken?
We are right now beginning to celebrate our 25th year in operation. We opened our first Pardo’s in 1986 on Avenida Pardo, the heart of Miraflores.

Did you begin this business alone?
No, my husband Willy founded Pardo’s Chicken with two partners: Antonio Ortiz and Raul Nuñez. Unfortunately, Raul has since passed away. But we remain business partners and friends with Antonio and his wife until this day.

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March 16, 2011 16:39:33 | in finance, stock market

Wall Street celebrates Peru Day

peru
Ismael Benavides, Peru’s finance minister, rings the closing bell on the NYSE after Peru Day. (Photo: Ben Hider/NYSE Euronext)


By Andrea López Cruzado/The Wall Street Americas
Translated and edited by Nathan Paluck

On Friday Wall Street drank pisco.

The New York Stock Exchange dedicated March 11 to Peru, to highlight its outstanding economic growth these past years and its potential for international investors.

Representatives from around 100 companies and reporters from global media agencies gathered early Friday morning to hear from Peruvian officials and top executives why it’s worth betting on Peru.

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March 2, 2011 5:47:08 | in Industry/Mining

Interview: Gerdau puts brakes on $1.4 billion Peru steel project

CEO André Gerdau of the Brazilian steel giant Gerdau. A majority owner of Sider-Peru, Gerdau is considering starting iron production in Peru in order to supply its iron and steel plant in Chimbote.
By Augusto Townsend, El Comercio
Translated by Lucia Subauste


The Gerdau group is one of the largest iron and steel producers in the world. In 2006 it entered Peru by acquiring most of the shares of the former state company Sider-Peru. After this acquisition, Gerdau announced a major investment of $1.4 billion, which was recently cancelled due to current market conditions.

Recently, André Gerdau, CEO of the company, had a meeting with president Alan García to discuss this issue along with Hermann von Mühlenbrock, CEO of Sider-Peru. Both Gerdau and Von Mühlenbrock later sat down in an exclusive interview with El Comercio.

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February 23, 2011 13:00:01 | in agriculture

How to make Peru’s gastronomic boom a sustainable business

The success of Peru's gastronomic boom has to reach everybody in the production chain, including intermediaries and producers. (Photo: Jorge Riveros-Cayo)

The good news: 20 restaurants opened daily in 2010. The bad news: the distribution channels failed and there was a constant lack of ají supply, one of Peru's basic ingredients to cook. These are two examples of why the sustainability of the gastronomic boom is still fragile. What follows is a mouth-watering menu of ideas that should be boosted to make the whole food experience a good one. For everybody.

By Alejandra Costa La Cruz for El Comercio
Translated and edited by Jorge Riveros-Cayo


We already ate the whole idea that our privileged gastronomy not only enables us to be proud of being Peruvians and happy about it, but also that it is a motor that dynamizes the economy, and can be a tool to fight back poverty, as Gastón Acurio has sustained.

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February 22, 2011 16:35:46 | in marketing

How marketers prey on the tween generation

By Beatrice Ciabatti

Beatrice Ciabatti.

This last Christmas my kids asked me for a special gift: a teddy bear. Without knowing what awaited me, I took them to the workshop (that is the term used by the genius marketers of the brand). The shopping experience there is great, you get to choose your bear, the color you want it to be, then they stuff it and put a heart in it. The teddy bear is practically "born" before your eyes for the happiness of children.

At this point you might think: What an original gift, and not so expensive, since the bear costs about $20.

Wrong! Prepare your wallet because you have just been hooked up in the Build a Bear world, a diabolically brilliant stroke of marketing!

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February 15, 2011 23:31:55 | in Industry/Mining

GM of SN Power predicts "imminent supply shortages" in Peru

peru
Alejandro Ormeño, GM of SN Power Perú, says Peru's low electricity rates are artificially low and unsustainable. Pictured on left is SN Power's Gallito Ciego hydroelectric plant in Cajamarca.


By Manuel Marticorena, El Comercio
Translated by Lucia Subauste

Cheves, located between the provinces of Huaura and Oyon in Lima, is a hydroelectric project that is currently at the construction phase.

Alejandro Ormeño, general manager of the Swedish-owned SN Power Peru, the company in charge of the project, believes that the lack of this type of investment reflects Peru’s artificially low electricity prices. With the honesty that characterizes him, Ormeño tells it like it is, regarding the situation within the power sector that very few want to discuss.

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February 8, 2011 15:07:37 | in General

Unilever Peru's CEO: "We want to get closer to our consumers"

By Azucena León for El Comercio
Translated and edited by Jorge Riveros-Cayo


After some months in the country Hans Eben feels he has become acquainted with the local market. “2010 was a good year,” he says, but 2011 will be more challenging. He has marked some long-term goals for Peru’s Unilever: double its market in five years and adequate its products to local demand, seeking to increase their consumption and frequency of use.

Unilever in Peru
Hans Eben, 40, is Chilean, with postgraduate studies at Kellog University in Chicago. He has worked 15 years for Unileveler. (Photo: El Comercio)

How did you to get acquainted with the Peruvian market?

Go directly to the field. During these months, I’ve concentrated part of my time visiting different markets in Lima and some other cities like Trujillo and Arequipa. It is indispensable to feed on what is going on through this channel because it enables you to understand your consumer.

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February 8, 2011 14:20:12 | in finance, stock market

How will the Peru-Colombia-Chile stock integration work?

peru
The stock market integration between Colombia, Chile and Peru would create the second largest exchange in Latin America. (Photo: Efe news agency)


By Carlos Enrique Arata

Due to the growing interest in cross-investment between Chile, Colombia and Peru, the three South American countries have been working on an integration of their stock markets since August 2008. The integration, currently called MILA, seeks to boost the economic development in these countries, and if completed, will create the second largest stock market in Latin America behind the Brazil exchange.

But what is really involved in this integration? In this first stage of the integration, the stock exchanges and settlement institutions involved have agreed to allow:

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