THE COMPLETE WRAP

Peru 2017 | ECONOMY | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Paulo Pantigoso, Managing Partner of EY, on the TPP, developing education, and attracting talent to the company.

Paulo Pantigoso
BIOGRAPHY
Paulo Pantigoso is a Managing Partner of EY Peru. He began his career in 1993 at Arthur Andersen, and between 2005 and 2006 was the leading associate for consultancy and risk, and IT Advisory Leader for the firm’s operations in Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Peru. Today he is a member of the Executive Board of EY operations that cover the South American region. He is the editor of EY’s Business and Investment Guide, which is published annually in cooperation with Peru’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has been Managing Partner since 2014.

How does the TPP play into Peru's plans for exports?

Around 92% of destinations for our agribusiness exports are covered by FTAs. The TPP will provide an opportunity to add other countries not previously covered by our 19 existing FTAs. New markets are welcome; however, we need to explore the current markets. Peru has an FTA with the US, the EU, and China. One-third of Peru's exports go to North America, Europe, and Asia; China accounts for 90% of our Asian market. We need to fully explore what we have already signed. Proper diversification and increasing the value-added products that we can export will have a greater impact on the TPP. There were 200,000 visitors to Peru 25 years ago, while in 2015 we recorded 3.4 million. It is increasing because the country offers much more than Machu Picchu, but not all of the opportunities have been exploited. Peru has 44,000 locations of valuable ancient ruins, of which Machu Picchu is just one. While these 3.4 million visitors sounds like a high figure, Spain receives around 50 million per year, even though Peru has more land than Spain. We need to leverage our gastronomy, culture, and landscapes to attract more tourists, which will require investments in infrastructure, hotels, roads, airports, and more. Right now, we also do not have enough good investments in manufacturing innovation, so perhaps other countries are currently more of an attractive location for establishing the regional headquarters of international manufacturing corporations. We need to be more competitive to attract these companies, but it will take some time. Any improvements to the tax code would take place at the end of the second or third year of the new administration.

Where do you see potential for development in education?

Education is a key driver to boost the development of the country, but two years ago we were last in the region of the countries that took the PISA exam. We are no longer last, but we have a huge gap to close, and we need to increase investments in education. We face some obstacles to doing that. Education in Peru has so much space to increase in performance that several private investors and businesspeople are discovering interesting ways to explore and develop it. Local banks and mining companies are founding their own schools and universities. People who want to teach various subjects in their own free hours can be appointed by an NGO to teach in a school. They already have an impact of more than 700 teachers in Lima and many more in the north of Peru.

What about EY makes it an attractive destination for students?

We create a competitive offerings for the 1,300 people that work not just in Lima, but also in Chiclayo and Arequipa. We are a professional services firm that is decentralized, and we offer the same careers all over the country to avoid having to transfer people and their families. They can now have the same EY experience in their own cities. They are excited and our clients there also support us by requesting our services, because their own people work together with their families and our managers. We are technical, open-minded, business-oriented, and connected to the world. I like to prepare people to have their own way of doing what they do for fun, but also supporting our clients. We have an interesting initiative, whereby a group of our people in EY draft their own initiatives, regulations, and norms that can be used to boost investments and present these changes to congress. Ultimately, all I need to do is to support them, prepare them, and help our collaborators to be more successful and better. What I offer is an open and clear professional opportunity to everyone.