Arequipa is a city located in the province and the eponymous department of Peru. It is the seat of the Constitutional Court of Peru and often dubbed the "legal capital of Peru." It is the second most populated city in Peru. Its metropolitan area integrates twenty-one districts, including the foundational central area, which it is the seat of the city government. The city has a Nominal GDP of 9,445 million (USD) the second-highest economic activity in Peru.
Arequipa is also an important industrial and commercial centre of Peru, and is considered as the second industrial city of the country. Within its industrial activity the manufactured products and the textile production of wool of camelids. The town maintains close commercial links with Chile, Bolivia, and Brazil and with the cities connected by the South railway, as well as with the port of Matarani.
During the vice-regal period, it acquired importance for its outstanding economic role. In the Republican history of Peru, the city has been the focus of popular, civic and democratic rebellions. It has also been the cradle of notable intellectual, political and religious figures. Its historical centre extends over an area of 332 hectares and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Historical heritage and monumental that it houses and its diverse scenic and cultural spaces turn it into a host city of national and international tourism, in its historical centre it highlights the religious architecture vice-regal and republican product of mixture of Spanish and local characteristics, that constituted an own stylistic school called "Arequipeña School" whose influence arrived in Potosí (Bolivia).
74.2% of the Department of Arequipa's GDP is generated by the city of Arequipa, according to studies by the National University of San Agustin. The Department of Arequipa's GDP is the second highest in Peru. From 2003 to 2008, Arequipa was the "city with the greatest economic growth in Latin America" with a 66.1% increase in GDP per capita, according to a 2009 report of "America Economia."
According to a government survey, Arequipa has the largest "workforce" in Peru with 625,547 people. The main economic sectors for the economically active population are manufacturing (12.9%), trade (23%), and non-personal services (36.6%). The unemployment rate in the Arequipa metropolitan area is 8%, compared to only 5% unemployment in Arequipa city proper.
In Arequipa, tourism is a vital contributor to the local economy, as the city is the third most visited city in the country. In 2010, Arequipa received a total of 1.395 million visitors according to the Ministry of Commerce and Tourism.
Since the 20th century, many factories tied to the primary sector, especially textiles and agriculture, have emerged. Arequipa's serves as an important commercial and industrial hub in the southern Andes in Peru, linking the coast to the mountains.
Large-scale mining also contributes to the city's economy; as is the case of Cerro Verde, a mining site established in 1993 near the Arequipa valley.
The city's industrial sector has the largest nation-wide diversification and is the second most industrialised city of Peru. After 1960 an industrial complex was built with one of the first factories being the Yura cement factory (Cementos Yura).
This first industrial complex named Parque Industrial de Arequipa now has a great diversity of factories ranging from consumer-related industries (food and beverages) and construction (PVC, cement, and steel) to chemical and export products (textile companies). Among the most important companies are Alicorp SAA, Processed Foods SA, Laive, La Iberica, Manuel Muñoz Najar, Bin Pan SA, Consorcio Industrial Arequipa SA, Omniagro, Backus & Johnston, Corporación Aceros Arequipa, Francky and Ricky, Michell & Cia, and IncaTops. Moreover, the city's industrial sector has expanded and other industrial complexes have emerged such as Parque Industrial APIMA (developed for small businesses), Parque Industrial Rio Seco and industrial areas in the Alfonso Ugarte Ave, Uchumayo Road and the northern part of the city.
Among the newspapers that are printed in the city, El Pueblo is the oldest in Arequipa and the second oldest in the country.
Arequipa is rated E+ by the Global Urban Competitiveness Report (GUCR) which evaluates and ranks world cities in the context of economic competitiveness. E+ cities are strong regional gateway cities. Arequipa was ranked #573 by the Nomad List which evaluates and ranks remote work hubs by cost, internet, fun and safety. Arequipa has a population of over 869,351 people. Arequipa also forms part of the wider Arequipa metropolitan area which has a population of over 1,008,290 people.
Arequipa is twinned with: Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Maui, Hawaii, USA; Corrientes, Argentina; Arica, Chile; Iquique, Chile; Guangzhou, China; Zibo, China.