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Banking

Peru set for continuing market-friendly policies

Ismael Benavides, Peru’s finance minister, believes that whoever is sworn in as the next president of Peru on July 28 will maintain market-friendly policies.

The Andean country, with a population of 29.5 million and a $153 billion economy, has its first round of elections on April 10. The president, Alan García, who represents the Popular American Revolutionary Alliance, a centre-left political party, will not stand again. The favourite to win is a former president, Alejandro Toledo, who will stand for Perú Posible, a centrist party. Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of former president Alberto Fujimori, who represents the right-wing Fuerza 2011, is the second favourite. Luis Castañeda, a former mayor of Lima representing the right-wing National Solidarity, is in third place. Ollanta ­Humala, who will stand for Peruvian Nationalist, a socialist party, is trailing the other candidates in the polls.

"All the main candidates will follow the market-oriented economic model of our administration," says Benavides. "Nowadays, there is a political consensus in Peru on the way forward."

He says that Peru is the fastest-growing economy in Latin America (GDP rose by about 8.7% last year) and managed to combine this with low inflation of 2.1%. Investment as a proportion of GDP was at 28.8%

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