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Peru: The Latin American hub of Middle East investment?

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Enrique Castro-Mendivil /Reuters

(Read caption) Women sell fruit and boiled eggs as people wait to board buses at Abancay Avenue in downtown Lima March 10, 2014.

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Peru is reaching out to Middle East investors as the country gears up for some $15 billion in infrastructure concessions this year, says our correspondent in Lima.

Peruvian President Ollanta Humala and his finance minister recently completed a nine-day swing through the Middle East from Feb. 14-22, visiting Israel, the Palestinian Territories, and Qatar to sign agreements on trade and promote investment opportunities. Upcoming auctions in Peru include the $6 billion second line of the Lima subway at the end of March, a $4 billion gas pipeline in June, and a $500 million international airport in Cusco sometime this year.

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“Peru has said it wants to become the hub of Middle East investment in Latin America,” says our correspondent. “Peru is looking for companies to invest in oil, gas, electricity, and the Middle East has money.”

President Humala has already shown a desire to reach out to the region, having hosted the 2012 Summit of South American and Arab Countries that brought together political and business leaders. And in early February, Israel was granted observer status to the Pacific Alliance, a trade bloc of Peru, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico.

“Taking a step back, Peru will most likely start free-trade agreements with Israel this year,” adds our correspondent.

Israeli companies have already shown willingness to invest in Peruvian ... For the rest of the story, continue reading at our new business publication Monitor Global Outlook.