The extractive industries figure significantly in the Peruvian economy. Peru ranks as one of the world’s leading producers of copper, gold, silver, lead, and zinc. Petroleum, natural gas, and iron ore are also extracted in significant quantities. Production in 2006 included 4.9 million metric tons of iron ore; 1,035,574 metric tons of copper; 3,471 metric tons of silver; 203,269 kg (448,100 lb) of gold; and 1,201,794 metric tons of zinc. Some 31.9 million barrels of crude petroleum were produced, along with 560 million cu m (19.8 billion cu ft) of natural gas.
Much manufacturing in Peru is on a small scale, but a number of modern industries have been established since the 1950s along the Pacific coast. Traditional goods include textiles, clothing, food products, and handicrafts. Items produced in large modern plants include steel, refined petroleum, chemicals, processed minerals, motor vehicles, and fish meal.
In 2006 Peru produced 24.9 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity. Some 78 percent of the total electricity produced was generated in hydroelectric facilities.
The unit of currency in Peru is the nuevo sol, divided into 100 céntimos (3.10 nuevo sols equal U.S.$1; 2007 average).The nuevo sol replaced the previous currency, the inti, in 1991 (1 nuevo sol equaled 1 million inti), as the government fought to tame runaway inflation. The inti had replaced the sol in 1985 at a rate of 1,000 to 1.
The Banco Central de Reserva del Perú (1922) is the central bank and bank of issue. All private domestic banks were nationalized in 1987. The largest of these, Interbanc, was reprivatized in 1994.
Exports are more diversified in Peru than in most South American countries. The principal exports are petroleum, gold, copper, fish meal, textiles, zinc, lead, coffee, and petroleum products. The chief export markets are the United States, the United Kingdom, China, and Switzerland. Exports earned $27.7 billion in 2007. The leading imports of Peru include electrical and electronic items, foodstuffs, machinery and mining equipment, chemicals, and transportation equipment.
The principal sources of these goods are the United States, Argentina, Brazil, China, and Colombia. Imports cost $19.6 billion in 2007. Peru is a member of two international trade organizations, the Latin American Integration Association (LAIA), which replaced the former Latin American Free Trade Association in 1980; and the Andean Community. The LAIA works to integrate the economies of all of Latin South America while the Community does the same for its members, which also include Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela. "Peru" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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