Peru is Committed to Being an Economic Powerhouse 24/07/2019
In a previous blog post, I gave you tips on how to do business or invest in Peru. In this blog post, I want to expand on some of the steps our government is taking to make itself an economic powerhouse in the region.
International Economic Indicators Look Very Good Economic indicators prove that Peru’s efforts are bearing fruit. For instance, the International Monetary Fund recently predicted a slowing economy in many South American countries, including Brazil and Mexico. According to IMF deputy director of research, Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, Peru and Colombia are the exceptions.
The United Nations Development Programs in partnership with the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative designed a matrix for measuring poverty. The Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) calculates the full spectrum of qualifiers, including income level, access to healthcare and education, presence of water and sanitation facilities and access to electricity.
Among the hundreds of nations assessed, Peru and Vietnam stand out in that they reduced their MPI scores. An even greater accomplishment is that we and Vietnam improved the financial health of those living in the lowest levels of poverty faster than any other country in the assessment.
Being an Economic Powerhouse Requires Better Infrastructure The Peruvian government understands that if it wants to continue to be the economic leader in South America, it must improve its infrastructure. Doing so accomplishes two things: (1) the infrastructure projects themselves serve as an economic engine and (2) the improved infrastructure makes the country more attractive to foreign businesses as a place to expand their operations.
A five-year $27 billion infrastructure development plan was presented in early June 2019. The plan includes 60 projects that are expected to have an immediate positive impact on GDP. The investment will enable us to improve our roads and highways, which currently rank among the worse in South America. Funding for the infrastructure projects will come from a combination of private and public sector partnerships.
Supporting the Mining Industry The mining industry is one of the most important sectors of the Peruvian economy. Mining products account for approximately 60 percent of the country’s exports and 10% of its gross domestic product. Strategies to keep the industry healthy and growing has been among the top priorities of our legislature. A strong mining industry creates jobs and, of course, contributes important revenues to the national treasury.
Last year, the Peruvian Mines Industry approved legislation that would streamline the mining application process to help informal miners move forward with their proposals as well as prevent illegal mining activities. The government is also supporting our efforts to create sustainable mining extraction technologies, water preservation strategies and improved relationships with stakeholders.
International Trade and Infrastructure Investment Projects To help Peru advance its vision of being an economic powerhouse, we joined the China Belt and Road Initiative, signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) earlier this month. The MOU will open the way to increased investment by the Chinese government in infrastructure, as well as open new channels for trade between our two countries. The agreed-upon commercial exchange is worth $23 billion, the largest bilateral trade agreement in Peru’s history.
At the same time, Peru is working to increase economic ties with America. The US Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo visited Peru earlier this month to lay out a strategic plan for collaboration and cooperation which will considerably advance our economic powerhouse agenda.
More Sleep, not Less Sleep, Will Make You Successful 18/07/2019
When we’re busy running a business, we tend to put sleep on the back burner, assuming we can get by with less. But the opposite is true. Sleep will make you successful.
Unhealthy Influences We’re very influenced by others. When we hear leading entrepreneurs boast about how little sleep they need, we think that to be successful we need to deprive ourselves of sleep too. In Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-being, Wisdom, and Wonder, Arianna Huffington talks about the damage caused to her health by sacrificing sleep to build up her company.
Starving your body of the sleep it needs in favor of your business will ultimately result in the failure of both. It’s true, we executives have a seemingly endless list of tasks to do. We think we don’t have time to sleep, or that we have too much to do in the office and need to keep going for as long as possible. However, research shows that inadequate sleep leads to approximately 1.23 million days out of the office, costing around $411B per year.
Sleep will make you successful, sleep deprivation will not.
It’s Like Being Drunk A research study out of the University of New South Wales found that after being awake for 17- 19 hours, a person’s work performance is equivalent to someone with a blood-alcohol level of .05 percent. If the person remains awake for 20 hours, he or she performs like someone with a blood alcohol level of 0.1 percent! This means that if you are one of the executives who works through the night or a couple of nights “to get the job done” you are running your company and making strategic decisions while “drunk!”
Your Sleep Deprivation Impacts Everyone Around You Researchers found that sleep study participants who received only 4.5 hours of sleep per night were more irritable, stressed, and depressed. When you are sleep deprived, it will be harder to remain calm in stressful situations. This is not something you want to deal with since, as we know, you can count on at least one stressful situation every day.
As an entrepreneur, part of our job is to motivate the team around us. We want to inspire our employees to feel a part of the vision and mission of the company. If you are snapping at everyone around you, employee performance will suffer, they will be less motivated and perhaps look for alternative employment.
Your ability to innovate, be creative and flexible in thinking are significantly impacted by sleep. When you are sleep deprived, your skills in these critical areas, which we need to be successful corporate leaders, are diminished. You end up making mistakes. Your creativity channels are blocked. If a crisis emerges, you are not able to pivot and continue.
Sleep Will Make You Successful and Healthy Vicky Culpin, UK researcher and author of The Business of Sleep: How sleeping better can transform your career, said that even in the face of ample scientific evidence that lack of sleep hurts the ability to focus, be creative and make important decisions, professionals insist on proving that they require less sleep. Insufficient sleep contributes to deaths from accidents, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. Sacrificing your health will not make you successful. Adequate sleep will make you successful.
You Need a Bedtime Routine After a long and hectic day in the office, it is not so easy to turn off the thought machine. You need a sleep routine. Begin with these simple strategies:
Don’t bring smartphones, computers or tablets into the bedroom. Taking one last look at your WhatsApp, email or SMS, will put your brain on alert status. You will not be able to fall asleep.
Use your mindfulness or meditation practice to close out the day. Once you settle down on the bed, bring focus to your breath, feel your muscles relaxing, visualize your thoughts quieting down.
If you start to go over your to-do list, bring your thoughts back to your breath and to the sensations of your body.
Doing Business in Peru 10/07/2019
If you are thinking about doing business in Peru, you will find a welcoming and fertile environment. Peruvian businesses are very open to foreign investment, so the welcome mat will be out for you.
There are many opportunities to launch businesses in Peru, especially in Lima, the capital. However, as with all things, before you jump in, be sure to do your homework, create a strategy, and investigate everything carefully.
The Peruvian Economy is Thriving Peru has one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America, driven primarily by investment and infrastructure improvement. During the period 2003 to 2013, our economy grew at an annual average of 6.6%.
Peru’s top industries are mining, energy, petrochemical, agriculture, manufacturing, real estate and tourism. Mining and agriculture are the primary engines behind Peru’s economic growth. The poverty rate fell from 56% in 2005 to 20.7% in 2016 according to government statistics.
A global slowdown impacted the economy here too, but Peru continues to show strong and steady growth, making it an excellent place to invest or start a business.
Doing Business in Peru Requires Patience While the legal framework for business involvement in Peru is a bit complicated, it is very friendly to foreign investors. The World Bank Ease of Doing Business gave Peru a score of 68.83 in 2019.
To initiate your investment, business or to purchase real estate, you first need to apply for a Peruvian Investment Visa. There are specific requirements related to what you plan to do, the value of the real estate purchase and so forth. The government revises the law frequently, so it is advisable to secure the most recent version of the requirements.
Bureaucracy Launching a business in Peru is bureaucratic, not unlike most countries. The process consists of seven steps and you can expect to spend around 27 days from the time you begin until you’ve completed everything for your business to open.
Transparency After a few high-profile bribery cases, Peru passed legislation that makes it a crime for corporations to engage in bribery. Regulators will look for transparency and compliance with the law.
To Succeed in Business, You Need to Understand the Culture Doing business in Peru is more than knowing the laws and regulations, though. You also need to develop relationships with people. Knowing the cultural norms makes the difference between success and failure.
Here are some examples:
Handshaking Peruvians shake with their right hand, which is not unusual, but it is the custom to also touch the left arm of the person at the same time.
Men and women kiss each other on the cheek upon meeting, unless you are planning to do business in the Andeans, where a hug is preferred.
Tone of voice Your tone of voice is very important…not only the words you speak. Peruvians speak softly. They consider loud talk to be rude. Raising your voice would be one way to end the meeting before you even get started.
Politics It’s best to skip political discussions, even if you have schooled yourself on the topics of the day. You can easily find yourself on the wrong side of an issue with the very people you hope to do business with.
Respecting Peruvian Culture Peruvians are very proud of their history, land, and cultural sites. Speaking positively about cultural icons is a good way to get a positive relationship going. If you have negative opinions, keep them to yourself.
Promptness Typical of Latin American culture, Peruvians are not so prompt. Be patient and more flexible around time commitments.
Dressing Professionally Casual attire has not taken hold in the Peruvian business environment. Suits and conservative dress are expected.
It’s Who You Know Peruvians value personal relationships and want to know you before getting into the grit of your proposals. Finding someone local to make introductions for you will be very helpful.
Getting Right to the Point The Peruvian communication style is more indirect, leaving you to decipher and internalize what is being said. Also, Peruvians do not express their feelings outright, so even if they don’t object or argue with you about something, this does not necessarily mean that he or she agrees with you. Bottom line: With a little homework and a strategic plan, you should enjoy success doing business in Peru.
Work-Life Balance: It’s for Fathers Too 04/07/2019
As you know, I’m the founder and CEO of Stellar Mining Peru, which means I carry a lot of corporate responsibilities. We’ve discussed some of them in a previous blog post. However, maintaining a work-life balance is as much a priority for me as my corporate strategic plan.
Staying Involved in My Children’s Lives My children are very important to me. I love spending time with them doing activities that bring us closer together. They have unique personalities, and I want to be a part of their life experiences, to see them grow and become young adults. I am working on a book right now that will contain all the lessons I want to impart to them.
There are many interviews with top female executives and entrepreneurs about their struggles to acquire work-life balance. They share their stories about how they managed to rise to the top of their industry while maintaining a meaningful role in their families’ lives. You don’t hear very much from male CEOs. But, juggling the demands of my corporate life and my responsibilities as a father has always been a priority for me. And, I’m not the only one.
Work-Life Balance is Important for Moms and Dads The impact of fathers on child development, though rarely researched, is quite significant. Two studies found that when fathers are stressed out, the impact on their children’s cognitive development, emotional health and social skills is the same as when their mother is stressed.
A study by the American Psychological Association found that men are just as concerned about finding work-life balance as women. The study also found that men feel more guilt when they take time away from the office to do something with their kids. It goes against cultural norms that expect male executives to place their job ahead of their family.
Finding a work-life balance is the only way to avoid passing on unhealthy messages to our children, such as that money or success is the most important thing in the world.
Here are some strategies that I have employed to create a healthy work-life balance in my life:
Learn to be Productive in Less Hours I have changed the paradigm of long days in the office. Instead we work on being productive in a more sensible number of hours, so we are not sitting in the office 80 hours or more per week.
There are exceptions of course, but with a clear mind, focus, and using some of the techniques we’ve discussed in previous blog posts, we can achieve the same results in 40-50 hours.
When your work-life balance is healthy, you reduce the level of stress and agitation that can build up over those 80-hour work weeks.
There is Tomorrow Our global connectivity increases our exposure to a larger audience. Our technologically advanced society also means that we have become a much more immediate society…nothing can wait.
There are schedules to be kept, and the occasional crisis does pop up, but in truth, there is always tomorrow. Getting one more thing done, at the expense of your family not only harms them, but it leads to serious health issues for you too.
Take Advantage of Digital Tools Today, when so much of our business happens digitally, you can easily respond to emails, text messages, and answer phone calls from home. Of course, everything needs to be kept in moderation. It’s not good to be home but on the phone, computer, digital device etc. while ignoring your children.
There will be emergencies from time to time that must be addressed outside of business hours, but it should not be a habit. And if you find yourself constantly facing urgent matters, then you need to do an internal audit to discover what parts of your strategic plan are not working for you. Perhaps you need to sit down with corporate staff and figure out a better distribution of human resources.
Vacation is Vacation Vacation should be a break from your corporate life. Your staff should be informed only to disturb you in the case of a true emergency. You should already have contingency plans in place for any number of scenarios and assigned staff who are fully capable of acting on your behalf during your vacation.
That’s the physical part. Your vacation also needs to be a mental vacation. You won’t be enjoying your children, if your head is back in the office. Detach. Trust your staff. Focus on your family. Achieving work-life balance is not easy. Everyone is struggling with it. But we should never feel guilty about putting our families first.
Drawing on Indigenous Wisdom to Solve Peru’s Water Supply Problems 27/06/19
In between the Andes mountains and the Pacific Ocean lies the most populous region of Peru. Lima, our capital and city of 12 million residents is situated in this region. It’s a beautiful area, filled with farms, commercial centers, industries and a growing population. But there is a cloud lingering over the future of this region—a water scarcity. Researchers, water specialists and government officials are pinning their hopes on ancient water systems that once brought water to Peruvians 1,400 years ago.
Too Much Water and Not Enough Water In the winter, plenty of water cascades down the Andes mountains bringing it to Peru’s residential, agricultural and industrial sectors. In fact, too much rainwater comes down, causing a different set of challenges. But, once the rainy season is over, water becomes scarce.
Learning from Peru’s Ancient Water Systems The weather patterns of too much rain in the wet season and too little during the dry months is not a new phenomenon. Before the Incan Empire, the indigenous peoples of Peru already had a solution. In 600 A.D., they built an extensive water infrastructure around the mountains that diverted runoff during the wet season, guiding the water through a series of ponds and canals. This nature-based solution slowed down the water’s travel, so that it would arrive downstream at the beginning of the dry season.
The team began their study in the community of Huamantanga, which has one of the most “recent” ancient water systems. Scientists conducted two experiments using dye tracers in 2014 and 2015, each one lasting for a year. Social scientists interviewed the people of Huamantanga to learn more about the history and sociology of the water diversion system.
Researchers discovered that on average water arrived at downstream sites in 45 days. They calculated that if they upgraded the systems to take into account the current population needs, they could delay as much as 35% of wet season water. If successful, they could extend the wet season and provide more water for drinking, farming and industrial uses. This would make a vast contribution toward stabilizing Peru’s water supply.
The Impact of Climate Change Limits Options The indigenous peoples of Peru had one advantage. They did not have to deal with the human impact on the environment which has created shifts in weather patterns and global water scarcity. Their ancient water systems were focused simply on ensuring there would be water in the dry season for drinking and farming.
Significant soil erosion in Peru prevents the construction of large-scale dams that could hold rainy season water for later distribution. Further climate change challenges impact the ability to design systems that will last for decades into the future. Planners believe they are racing against the clock. The indigenous water systems from before the Incas, combined with modern structures, such as small dams could result in an infrastructure that will survive continued climatic changes.
Indigenous Systems as Models for the Future The study is the first time engineers looked to indigenous systems as a model to craft modern engineering solutions to water scarcity. Lima’s population growth exceeds its ability to provide water during the dry seasons. Lack of water is a serious health and social issue. Additionally, it restricts the country’s ability to stabilize its economy. Time is of the essence.
There is a lot of optimism among the scientists, engineers and researchers involved, but they still have a lot of work to do. For now, scientists have only studied the Huamantanga system. They need to continue learning from other ancient water systems spread throughout the country.
A Healthy CEO is an Effective CEO 20/06/19
Being the CEO of a major corporation, or founder of a growing startup means that your days are inundated with meetings, phone calls, emails and everything else it takes to manage a growing enterprise. A Harvard Business Review report published in 2013 found that executives spend 62% of their day working. In today’s digital global marketplace we can be sure this percentage has increased. So where is the time to exercise? It exists, you need to commit. Staying fit is essential to your success as a leader.
Time to Move Past the Myths Many myths stand in the way of getting serious about staying fit. Mass media imagery leaves us believing that exercise means hours in the gym. Not true. Twenty minutes of exercise will improve your creativity, focus and memory—all of which we need to run our businesses effectively.
The next myth is that you need to go to the gym or buy lots of expensive equipment. Not true. You can exercise in your office. For instance, instead of sitting at your desk reading emails, take your digital device and walk on a treadmill, ride a bike, or use an elliptical trainer.
Better yet, get out of the office. Go outside and walk for half an hour. Not only will your brain benefit from the increased infusion of oxygen, but a break from meetings, telephone calls, emails, and instant messages will give you time to connect to that quiet place in your mind. You will be surprised how many amazingly creative ideas or solutions you come up with during a simple 20-minute run or walk in the park.
Exercise Snacks If 20 minutes is too much for you, try exercise snacking. Divide your exercise time into bite-size “snacks” that you spread across the day. Exercise snacks help us avoid the long hours we spend sitting in meetings and working on our digital devices, a habit science has found to be extremely damaging to our health. You can do 5-minute or 10-minute exercise snacks.
The more hectic your schedule, the more you need to exercise.
Make Staying Fit a Part of Your Personal Strategic Plan It can be challenging to adopt a committed routine to stay fit, especially when we have so many priorities. There are some hacks you can use to make it easier to reach your fitness goals.
Team up with a partner, neither one of you will want to let the other down.
Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Zelnick Media Capital, says he never exercises alone. He organized two other men to join him for his early morning workouts. Even when he is traveling, he finds someone he knows in the city to join him for a run or workout.
Exercise first thing in the morning.
Follow up your meditation with 20 or 30-minutes on a treadmill or outside. It’s a great way to start the day, and you won’t have any conflicts with all the other priorities you have on your calendar that day.
If you travel a lot, there is always the gym in the hotel. After you have finished a day of meetings, head to the hotel gym and exercise. You will sleep much better too, meaning that you will be more alert in the morning and ready to deal with your clients.
Staying Fit Will Make you a More Effective CEO When you are healthy in body and mind, you’ll be able to deal with problems and crises, pivot if necessary and create solutions. Not only will you succeed, but everyone around you will benefit from the healthy way you deal with the challenges.
The Latin American Startup Market is Hot 13/06/19
The Latin American startup scene was off the venture capital grid for a long time, but no longer. Latin America has emerged to become one of the most attractive startup markets in the world; Latin American entrepreneurs are disrupting all the leading economic sectors, including e-commerce, agriculture, insurance and fin-tech.
The Latin American Startup Market Gets Noticed Things began to change in 2011, when Welcu, a Chilean startup, and Wideo, a startup out of Argentina, became the first to garner the support of 500 Startups, one of the top three accelerators in the United States. By 2015, all three of the top US accelerators were investing in Latin America.
From just a handful, venture investment in Latin America has grown to hundreds. 500 Startup launched an accelerator in Mexico City. This year, 500 Startups LAM received 1,420 applications for its 2019 accelerator program. Eleven applications were accepted. The accelerator has invested in more than 150 companies.
Chile Was Ahead of the Curve Before foreign investors decided to check out what was going on in Latin America, the Chilean government created its own accelerator program, which it launched in 2010. The government had two main goals: (1) position Chile as the Latin American hub for technology innovation and (2) transform the Chilean mind-set toward entrepreneurship. Start-Up Chile supports tech entrepreneurs and has become one of the largest accelerator programs in the world. Start-Up Chile has received more than 1600 startups during the past seven years.
This is not the first time Chile has distinguished itself on the international level. It is the only member of the OCED (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) in Latin America. Our stable economy combined with regulatory policies that reward entrepreneurship has created a healthy startup environment. I became an investor in startups a long time ago. One of my favorites is Chilean Mesa, a restaurant reservation app launched in 2017. Users can book their reservation through the app and get as much as a 50% discount on their food order.
Latin America Has Become One of the Most Important Regions in the World Investment analysts say 2018 seems to have been the pivotal year, as global investors woke up to the reality of a flourishing South American startup market. Even political tensions and economic instability in countries, such as Venezuela, did not dampen their enthusiasm.
SoftBank launched a $2B investment fund to support tech startups in Latin America. They will focus on tech startups in Mexico, Argentina, Columbia, Brazil and Chile. When announcing the initiative, SoftBank Group Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son, said “Latin America is on the cusp of becoming one of the most important economic regions in the world, and we anticipate significant growth in the decades ahead.”
Mobile-Based Startups Have the Best Potential for Success The startups with the greatest potential for success are those that capitalize on the realities of Latin America’s significant unbanked population and the high percentage of mobile phone penetration. This is what made Mesa so successful. Mobile subscriber penetration is 65% in Latin America, greater than the rest of the developed world, other than North America and Europe.
These realities created a fertile environment for mobile-based startups, such as Despegar.com an Argentinian version of Expedia. Despegar.com was founded in 1999, when no one was paying much attention to the startup scene in Latin America. Its market value today is more than £1 billion.
Startup MercadoLibre is another success story. Founded in Argentina, the platform works like Alibaba or Amazon. Even Uber has met its rival in the Latin American market—Brazil 99 has successfully taken market share from the well-known app.
I believe the potential for startups in Latin America is unlimited, particularly here in Chile and I look forward to staying involved as an investor in this growing marketplace.
Yoga Has Made Me a Better CEO 06/06/19
I’m the owner and CEO of Stellar Mining Peru, Ltd. My corporation is made up of a complex web of interlocking pieces: innovation and technology development, mining and extraction, processing, manufacturing and delivery. Woven throughout, is my staff, customers and stakeholders. As CEO, I must hold all the pieces and unify them into the whole that is my corporation.
Yoga is all about connecting your mind with your body. However, your body and mind are also made up of a complex web of pieces. Through Yoga, you learn to be aware of all the pieces, to connect them, and bring them to a unified whole. This is the skill you need to unify the puzzle pieces of your corporation.
Yoga Gives You Important Tools for Business Success Yoga has many benefits. It is not a physical sport like running or tennis, but you will be surprised how strong your body will become once you have committed to a regular Yoga practice. The skills you will gain from Yoga are the very same skills you need to be successful as a corporate leader.
Here are just a few of the ways Yoga will positively impact your business performance:
Determination A landmark study by Angela Duckworth proved that the one factor that caused a person to be successful, no matter their lane, was something she called “grit.” It means you never let go of your goal, regardless of what happens.
When you first begin your yoga practice you are not going to be folding up into a pretzel or flawlessly standing on your head. You might even feel embarrassed. Your goal is to become a Yogi and inherit all the benefits of the practice. You need grit to stick with it, to not be deterred when you fall over, fail to reach the floor, run out of breath or collapse.
Yoga Builds Flexibility When you think of Yoga, you are probably focused on physical flexibility. But that would be only one half of the practice. The flexibility you develop through your yoga practice also extends to your mind. As you train your body to be more flexible through the asanas, you train your mind to be more flexible so that you can bend, rather than break, before the myriad of stressors that enter your day.
A typical business day is filled with challenges, some routine and many unplanned. If you are an entrepreneur, you can expect failure on some level. A product that doesn’t take off. Supply problems that prevent you from delivering on time, harming your new and fragile reputation. This is when you need to pivot, be flexible like a reed in the wind, and continue forward. The “failure” is merely a learning experience, not the end of the road.
Building a Quiet Space in the Mind for Creativity Yoga challenges us to overcome our concept of limits to what we can do. This is what you need when running or starting a business. What I have gained from my Yoga practice has enabled me to inspire my teams to see no limits or barriers to creativity. Yoga also teaches you to create a quiet space in your mind even during moments filled with crises. By being able to stay focused, to innovate and create, you can overcome those challenges. I feel great after my yoga session. My mind is clear, my spirit is buoyant, I am recharged and ready to face the day. When I show up at work in high spirits, beaming positivity and a good attitude, I inspire and improve the mood of everyone who comes in contact with me. We all succeed.
Reducing the Carbon Footprint with Bio-diesels 31/05/19
For more than two decades, I have been involved in the mining industry. Throughout my career I have worked hard to develop cutting edge, eco-friendly technologies that will leave the smallest footprint possible on our precious lands. I am extremely proud to have been a part of the team that constructed the largest biodiesel refinery on the western coast of South America. For me, this project in my home country Peru, was one of the best examples of my efforts to protect our environment.
Bio-fuels and Bio-diesel Bio-fuels are produced from organic matter, also known as biomass. This includes plant materials, animal waste, fishery products, food service by-products, and certain agricultural products. Around 10% of global energy use is produced from bio-fuels, particularly in developing countries, where charcoal and animal dung provide an energy source for cooking and heating.
There are two categories of bio-fuels, primary and secondary:
Primary bio-fuels, such as wood chips and pellets, are organic matter that is used in its unprocessed form. It is appropriate only for heating, cooking or as an alternative electricity source.
Secondary bio-fuels result from the processing of biomass. This would include liquid bio-fuels such as bio-diesel and ethanol, which are suitable for fueling vehicles and powering industrial plants. Liquid bio-fuels such as ethanol are highly popular around the world as a clean energy source.
Bio-diesel is produced from animal fats and vegetable oils. It is a viable and clean substitute for fossil-fuel diesel. Outside of the United States, the most popular oils for developing bio-diesel are palm oil, rapeseed oil and sunflower oil. We are using palm oil to create bio-diesel.
Reducing the Carbon Footprint Bio-diesels are biodegradable and are a major player in the effort to reduce airborne pollutants. The fuel can be used in a diesel engine without any modifications. However, more typically, bio-diesels are blended with petroleum.
Bio-fuels can help countries develop energy security and reduce their carbon footprint and reliance on fossil fuels. Investing in bio-fuels, which are carbon neutral, is a key component of Peru’s climate change strategies and economic development initiatives.
Bio-diesel Production Requires a Thoughtful Strategy Bio-diesel production must be a component of a comprehensive environmental and economic security strategic plan. Careful thought is required to ensure an equal balance of both priorities. In some developing nations, the potential bio-fuels offer for energy independence has led to an emphasis on farming only crops for bio-fuel production. Public and private strategists must keep in mind the needs of the citizenry for food security and a balanced, nutritious diet.
Peru Leads the South American Continent Last April 2018, Peru passed the “Law for Climate Change,” becoming the first country in South America to comprehensively address climate change. Upon its passage, Peru’s President Vizcarra noted that the law will greatly reduce Peru’s vulnerability to climate change.
Bio-diesel production has joined solar panel and wind energy development among the clean energy technologies being funded by public and private sector partnerships. I am very happy to be a part of this effort.
Economic Advantages of Bio-diesels Bio-fuels development is particularly beneficial for rural communities. The new agro-processing facilities provide employment and opportunities for small business development.
The benefits of bio-diesel facilities, such as the one we constructed in Peru, extend beyond carbon-neutral objectives. Bio-diesel developed from crops, such as palm trees, facilitate restoration of degraded lands. Our production of crude palm oil has resulted in growing employment numbers and a stronger agriculture industry.
A Vegan Lifestyle is Healthy for Your Mind, Body and Spirit 24/05/19
Staying healthy is key to every aspect of your life. A vegan lifestyle is one way to get there. When we are healthy, we feel better. We have more mental, physical and emotional strength. With clarity of mind and a positive outlook on life we can be successful, no matter what we are doing.
When you are in poor health, you lose the drive to pursue your life goals. You may even suffer a loss of income. Feeling ill can also make you cranky, creating a secondary reality of isolation, frustration and depression. Staying healthy must be at the top of your list of priorities.
What’s the Difference Between Vegetarian and Vegan? Knowing the difference between a vegetarian and vegan is very important if you intend to have guests for dinner or entertain clients. They are not the same. And even within vegetarianism there are levels. Both vegetarians and vegans avoid meat. But vegans do not eat any product that comes from animals, including dairy and eggs. Vegetarians typically will eat dairy products, and a few will eat fish.
A vegan diet provides us with more antioxidants and fiber. By cutting out the meat, more of these important vitamins and minerals enter our body and are absorbed into the bloodstream. Several studies have investigated the health benefits of a vegan lifestyle. Their findings include:
Vegan diets appear to be richer in vitamins A, C and E, as well as in folate, potassium and magnesium.
A vegan diet can reduce pain from arthritis.
Certain cancers can be mitigated by keeping a vegan diet. In fact, the World Health Organization advises that the best cancer prevention strategy is being careful about what we eat.
Athletes Have Gone Vegan Too Many of the world’s top athletes have chosen a vegan lifestyle. With ample evidence of its positive effect on reducing cholesterol, improving concentration and enabling better sleep, the diet makes perfect sense for athletes who need to perform at the top of their level.
Business Insider featured several high-performing athletes and the reasons they chose a vegan diet. Venus Williams, for instance a champion tennis player switched to a vegan diet when she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. She says she has found her vegan diet helps her on the court. Plus, she generally feels better knowing that she is doing the best thing for her health.
Successful Corporate Execs Operate at Peak Performance I chose a vegan lifestyle for all the above reasons. Juggling multiple priorities requires strategic focus and a creative mind. I found that when I switched to a vegan diet, I rested better at night. My batteries were fully charged for the next day of meetings with staff, suppliers, and stakeholders. My body began to get more of the minerals and vitamins it needed which improved my concentration. Being healthy means not only an increase in productivity, but more energy for my family and outside interests.
Meditate for Success 15/05/19
May 15, 2019 is World Meditation Day. It’s a great day to begin a daily meditation practice. I have found meditation to be beneficial not only to my business success, but also to my relationship with my family and the world around me.
Meditation is Mainstream The topic of meditation tends to conjure up images of new age geeks sitting in lotus position, chanting. It can be like that, but meditation has become much more mainstream. The most popular form of meditation today is mindfulness meditation which can be done sitting, standing, walking, or while eating.
According to US federal estimates, more than 18 million Americans meditate every day. A global count has been more difficult to acquire, with estimates ranging from 200 to 500 million meditators. But these are not reliable figures.
Global Leaders Believe in the Power of Meditation Tony Robbins, a philanthropist and entrepreneur who serves as Chair of a holding company comprised of 50 businesses earning more than $6 billion annually, is a regular meditator. He says meditation helps you overcome those nagging feelings of doubt. As entrepreneurs we cannot operate in the space of doubt. We must have a target and the grit to get us there, no matter what happens along the way.
In Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, there is a profound quote about the importance of meditation. Jobs said that if you sit quietly and observe, you will see a constant flow of thoughts running through your mind. By meditating, you can control those thoughts and quiet the mind. Once you achieve this, you enter the place of intuition. In this state, you truly connect with what is happening around you.
Mindfulness Meditation Mindfulness meditation is the form of meditation used by most corporate and thought leaders today. It focuses on coming to a place of quiet in the mind and focusing on a single point. It is not about emptying the mind but learning how to control and focus your thoughts.
Mindfulness meditation helps you overcome negative thinking and thereby constrain your emotions which is especially important in my environment. From moment to moment, anything can go off course from what I have planned for the day.
My daily schedule is filled with competing priorities: production, marketing, messaging, customer satisfaction, revenue, and of course my stakeholders. Meditation has helped me achieve the quiet I need to intuitively understand what needs to be done to address each priority of the day. My daily mindfulness meditation practice has helped me reach my goals of being constantly aware of my impact on those around me.
Start Slowly and Build If you’re not in the habit of meditating, then this is a good time to start. The important thing is to be patient. It’s like exercising. If you decide to jump up and go for a 10k run and you’ve not been running, you may finish but you won’t be able to move much the next day. Training your mind to be still and to focus also takes time. It’s best to begin with short intervals at a designated time every day. Make it a habit. Gradually you will build “meditative muscle” in the mind and will be able to quiet your thoughts for longer periods of time. Your meditation practice will transform your life.
Peru’s Robust Mining Economy is Closing the Gap for Rural Peruvians 25/10/18
Peru is the mining capital of the world, with impressive investment dollars to prove it. These investments translate into opportunities for Peru to increase its employment base, build a robust economy and improve the lives of its citizens.
A healthy national economy means that the government has more assets with which it can invest in healthcare, housing, education and infrastructure. A robust mining economy has been key to Peru’s successful climb out of poverty and to a seat among the world’s developed nations.
Mining Investments Continue to Grow Last September, government officials held a press conference to share the good news related to mining investments. Francisco Ismodes, Minister of Energy and Mines announced that Peru is currently home to 49 mining projects, holding a combined worth of $58 billion. And this represents only those mining projects already on the ground and operating. Minister Ismodes said that more projects are in the stage of exploration.
Strategies to lure companies to invest in mining in Peru is of paramount importance to Peruvian policymakers, as they look to mining as a way to close the gap for rural residents. Facilitating a vigorous mining economy has become an important component of the country’s strategic plan.
Globally, Peru is ranked 5th in terms of mining investments. The country succeeded in attracting 7% of the world’s exploration budget, which translates into a $524 million infusion of economic benefits for the country. Minister Ismodes predicts continued growth, reaching 20 billion in mining investments and prospecting by 2022.
Balancing the Challenges of a Successful Mining Industry Minister Ismodes told attendees at the press conference that the government is mindful of the challenge of developing mining as an economic engine while also protecting Peru’s fragile environment. Policymakers and stakeholders are tasked with developing protective parameters that allow for Peru’s environment and society to prosper.
Peru is Serious about Preventing Corruption In addition to significant annual growth, Peru’s mining industry proves that the industry does not have to be plagued by corruption or lead to economic stagnation. In fact, getting serious about corruption, Peru joined the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative in 2010, the first country in the Americas to do so. The Initiative commits mining companies to publicize all tax and royalty payments they make to the government.
Mining has Always Been an Economic Anchor For more than 14 years, Peru has been making a slow climb to become an economic leader among the developing nations. Mining has been one of the primary engines driving its success.
Peru survived a bump in the road during the years 2014 to 2017, as its economic growth slowed considerably due to a falloff in commodities prices. However, because the government had established a strong economic foundation during previous years, it was able to weather the decline in fiscal revenues without a corresponding reduction in national spending.
Earlier investments in mining paid off during this period too. Projects that were developed during the previous years of prosperity, came to maturity and dumped more revenues into the national economy.
Looking Beyond Workers As Peru’s mining sector gained traction company executives began to look beyond the basics of building production facilities and hiring employees. In addition to adopting policies designed to foster natural resource protection, community development initiatives began to work their way into corporate strategic plans.
Neighborhood improvement efforts began in an organic way. Mines opened, attracting a small migration of Peruvians from the surrounding area. This necessitated at least minimum housing and basic facilities.
But mining companies wanted to do more for the growing communities that mining operations were anchoring. Peruvian mining executives began to see a role for themselves as change agents in the overall social movement, reaching out to local stakeholders and municipalities to join the effort.
New collaborations between mining companies, local government officials and community leaders gave birth to important community development projects that would address the full package of issues facing local and regional populations. Projects included addressing chronic childhood malnutrition, improving education achievement, enhancing access to healthcare, and upgrading local infrastructure. Special initiatives have been developed that focus on women to help them gain the skills they need to become entrepreneurs.
Public-Private Sector Initiatives are Working Policymakers have been able to translate mining revenues into significant improvements in delivery of services, especially for Peru’s poorer populations. According to an article in Harvard Review of Latin America published in 2014, Peru reduced by 50 percent the total number of Peruvians living in poverty. The Inter-American Development Bank reported that more than half of the Peruvian population had joined the middle class. With strong leadership at the top of the Peruvian government combined with a genuine commitment on the part of mining industry leaders, we can expect that more Peruvians will be able to join the mainstream of society.
Peru Takes the Lead on Climate Change 11/10/2018
Peru became the first country in South America to pass a comprehensive law to address climate change. The “Law for Climate Change” was approved by the Peruvian legislature in mid-March and signed by the President on April 17, 2018.
The Law’s passage signals the government’s commitment to a sustainable future for the Peruvian people. We now have a framework with which to seriously implement policies that will reduce the impacts of global warming across the Peruvian environment.
Peru’s Law for Climate Change establishes a set of requirements that follow the 17 objectives of the United Nations Climate Change Agreement. The Ministry of the Environment is tasked with the job of developing and implementing new regulations and special projects. Ministry staff is responsible for assessing progress and outcomes.
Former Minister of the Environment Esla Galarza, in an interview with ExitosasNoticias, expressed considerable optimism over the new law, noting that “a country which is environmentally responsible is a country that grows, that has a vision of the future.”
A Legacy for the Future
Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra said there is no denying that negative changes are occurring throughout the world due to climate change. “We must be responsible to leave a legacy to our children and the future generations of Peru.”
According to President Vizcarra, the Law for Climate Change will facilitate increased public spending on research and development of clean technologies, public awareness campaigns, and new partnerships between the private and public sector focused on environmental issues.
President Vizcarra observed that the Law will “reduce the country’s vulnerability to climate change and take advantage of growth opportunities with lower carbon emissions.”
Peru is Particularly Vulnerable to Climate Change
In addressing passage of this landmark Law, congressional leaders note that Peru is the third most vulnerable country in South America to the damaging effects of climate change. In fact, a 2013 UNEP report identified Peru as one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to the effects of global warming.
Seventy-one percent of the world’s tropical glaciers are in Peru. But, 22% of Peru’s glaciers have melted away over the past 35 years. More than one-third of Peru’s ice caps have vanished. Unless strong measures are employed, environmentalists predict that all glaciers below 5500 meters will completely disappear by 2025.
Living in the Flood Plain
A striking example of Peru’s vulnerability can be seen at Lake Palcacocha, a beautiful glacial lake in the Cordillera Blanca Mountains. The Lake appears to be healthy and inviting, but its waters are swelling due to run-off from melting glaciers.
The rising lake waters threaten 50,000 people who live in the direct path of what will be dangerous flood waters. Officials are applying intermediate measures, such as water pumps, but a long-term solution is the only way to ensure that thousands of people do not lose their lives.
The Law for Climate Change will enable long-term mitigation efforts to reverse the effects of climate change in Peru, such as what is happening at Lake Palcacocha.
Alpaca Breeders Suffer from Income Losses On the other side of the equation, rising temperatures have caused Peru’s grazing fields to dry up. This has created a devastating situation for Peru’s Alpaca breeders, a mainstay of the Peruvian rural economy. Diminishing grazing lands causes a deterioration in the quality of Alpaca wool and meat. The result is that breeders must sell for lower prices. Less income translates into less ability to maintain or even grow their operations, something that ultimately hurts the entire Peruvian economy.
Peru Needs Multi-faceted Strategies to Fight Climate Change
The Law for Climate Change facilitates a diverse strategy incorporating energy development projects and public awareness. Climate change educational programs will be implemented in schools throughout Peru. The objective is to develop an early awareness about the fragility of the environment and man’s impact on it. Leaders envision future generations of Peruvians who will be committed to protecting the natural resources of their country.
Further, the Law for Climate Change requires the establishment of environmental research and studies programs at universities that will focus on extrapolating new data about the impacts of climate change on the Peruvian environment.
The Law for Climate Change Facilitates Clean Energy Development
In early October 2018, Peru was appointed to serve as Vice President of the International Solar Alliance for Latin America and the Caribbean. The ISA is one of the most critical global players in the fight against climate change. Based in India, the ISA, has a membership of 68 countries who have the greatest potential for producing solar energy. The initiative was launched at the 2015 Climate Change Conference at the United Nations. Peru joined the Alliance in 2017.
Peru offers great potential for wind and solar energy. It has established defined goals for the installation of solar panels and wind turbines. A target of 200,000 solar panels, for instance, is expected to satisfy most of Peru’s electricity needs.
Clean energy development, such as wind and solar power are important components of any climate change strategy. However, it impossible to move completely away from liquid fuels. Investment in biofuels, which are carbon-neutral, is another key component of Peru’s long-term clean energy development plan. As Peru takes its leadership position among the developed nations of the world, the challenge of overcoming the destruction caused by climate change no longer appears insurmountable.