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Meeting

Luncheon in Honor of President Alan Garcia Pérez of Peru

Peterson Institute, Washington, DC

October 10, 2006


Summary

The Institute hosted a luncheon meeting October 10, 2006 in honor of President Alan Garcia Pérez of Peru and his personal representative for legally empowering the poor, Hernando de Soto. At the luncheon, President Garcia described his strategy to implement the United States–Peru Free Trade Agreement with a complementary program of "Free Trade Inside Peru" that seeks to link the new external liberalization arrangement with domestic reforms to provide access for all Peruvians to an array of new legal tools that will permit them to benefit from the increased globalization of the economy.

This approach has converted the Peruvian public from skepticism to strong support for the FTA. President Garcia hopes it will prove persuasive in this country as well, including as an alternative to populist approaches elsewhere in Latin America. Luis Alberto Moreno, the President of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), led off the discussion of the President’s remarks with observations on the broader applicability of the new Peruvian strategy.

Alan Garcia was elected President of Peru in June of 2006 after previously serving in that post during 1985–90. Hernando de Soto is President of the Instituto Libertad y Democracia in Lima and one of the world's most renowned development reformers, working with heads of governments in a large number of countries to help empower poor citizens to enjoy property and business rights that will permit them to work in expanded markets and create capital. Luis Alberto Moreno has been President of the IDB since October 2005 after serving for seven years as Colombia's Ambassador to the United States.