A BETTER TOMORROW

Peru 2017 | DIPLOMACY | INSIDE PERSPECTIVE

Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, President of Peru, on his ambitions for a modern Peru and what that will mean for both citizens and the international community when the country celebrates the bicentennial of its independence in 2021.

Pedro Pablo Kuczynsk
BIOGRAPHY
Pedro Pablo Kuczynski is a Peruvian economist, politician, and public administrator who is the current president of Peru, in office since 2016. He previously served as Prime Minister of Peru from 2005 to 2006. Kuczynski earned his bachelor’s degrees in politics and economics from Oxford University and a master’s in economics from Princeton before joining the World Bank.

For the bicentennial of our independence, which will take place in 2021, it is my task that we might be able to fulfill the dreams of the founders of our republic. Yes to peace, and yes to union. No to confrontation, and no to division.

What is the dream that became the promise of life in our republic? Freedom and independence from foreign powers to construct a prosperous country under the rule of law; equality, equity, and brotherhood among Peruvians; access to opportunities; growth, not only economic, but human, through a magnificent education; healthcare that is sensitive to the needs of people; timely and predictable justice; and security in our streets and homes.

I want a social revolution for my country. In five years, I hope that Peru will be a modern country—more just, more equitable, and more unified. What does this mean? It means that the inequalities between the poor and the rich should be reduced by increasing the incomes of the poorest.

How can we achieve that? We need to ensure equal access to essential services, which are scarce or nonexistent today, and therefore extremely expensive for the poorest in society. We will close the gaps in access to health and social security and making the wellbeing of people the fundamental objective of any change or reform. We also need to promote complementarity between the public and private sectors and connect ourselves using modern technology.

Being a modern country means being a country that is honest and not corrupt. What does it mean to be a country without corruption? First, it means recovering a significant amount of money for our shared budget. However, it also means establishing an agenda of priorities based on common interest and not on bribery.
Being a modern country means having equality of opportunities for both genders. This means unconditional respect for the dignity of women and their rights, equal pay for equal work, and integrated political participation in the decisions of the government.

For 2021, the year of the bicentennial, we will have built development infrastructure the likes of which would have never been expected in Peru. We will have much more construction, expansion, and modernization of airports, ports, highways, trains, and gas pipelines. However, these projects are sometimes held up by bureaucratic problems that we need to solve in the next six months. In the same manner, we are going to eliminate many of the obstacles to private investment that Peru awaits with open arms. We will regulate and require compliance with all environmental regulations and we will listen to and respect the opinions of all citizens with regards to the impact of these projects.

Still, we will seek to persuade and explain, including with my own presence, community by community, the costs and benefits that investment in the extractive industries brings in terms of jobs and tax income for the good of the country.

For 2021, we will pay fewer taxes, but take in more revenue. Our plan for the formalization of the country will open the doors to all, above all small businesses, which are the vast majority of the Peruvian economy, with terms to provide access to benefits that they do not have today.

It is not only illegal; it is profoundly unjust that millions of hard-working Peruvians do not have access to even social security or quality healthcare. I know it is difficult to formalize the economy, but we have a plan to do it piece by piece.

By the end of my term, at least 60% of jobs, instead of the 30% we have today, will be formalized. I know that this will be a difficult commitment to fulfill, but we will begin by reducing sales tax by 1% from 2017 with a special tax scheme for SMEs that formalize themselves. I want informal businesses to understand that we are doing this to put ourselves on the road to prosperity.