India-Peru FTA talks to take stage in March

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With the government of Peru planning to rebuild after last year’s devastating floods, there is a huge opportunity for Indian companies to invest in various sectors, including construction of roads, highways, ports and airports.

Financial Express | 10 January 2018

India-Peru FTA talks to take stage in March

by Huma Siddiqui

With bilateral trade between India and Peru touching an all-time high of $1.57 billion, the second round of talks for the trade agreement between the two countries is scheduled to take place in March. The FTA between the two countries aims at liberalising norms for trade in goods and services with a view to further boost bilateral economic ties and to expand India’s trade and investment, especially in agri-business and commodities. Talking to FE, Arup Kumar Saha, head of Chancery, Embassy of India, Peru, said, “Peru could be used by Indian investors as a gateway to the region. With the government of Peru planning to rebuild after last year’s devastating floods, there is a huge opportunity for Indian companies to invest in various sectors, including construction of roads, highways, ports and airports.” The sudden spurt in the trade figures is a result of Peru’s increase in export of commodities including gold, silver and copper, officials told FE. The LatAm nation is the world’s sixth largest producer of gold, second largest of sliver, and third largest of copper, tin, zinc and lead. Peru started exporting gold to India only in 2012, but imports from Lima seem to have increased within short span of time. In fact, to meet the rising demand of gold in India, three Indian investors have decided to invest in gold mines in Peru.

As reported earlier by FE, while India is working on a different model for pepping up economic relations with Peru, “The first round of discussions between the two sides had taken place in Lima last year. An FTA between the two countries is not going to happen soon, so the government has decided to work on a new, unique model, wherein the government has agreed to do single undertaking discussions on services investment and goods.” In 2015, Peru became the second largest exporter of table grapes — Red Globe variety — to India, a position it holds even today. These grapes are typically available in Indian supermarkets between December and April every year. Also, Indian importers have shown a growing interest in Peruvian avocados, leading to a steady increase in its consumption since 2016.

“Open trade barriers between the two countries provide Peru with a new and significant trade partner, because of which the economy is enjoying a surge,” said a statement issued by the Commercial Office of the Embassy of Peru.