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China, Peru to set up free trade agreement | 01-23-2008

China, Peru to set up free trade agreement

Talks between China and Peru to set up a free trade agreement are well underway. The Andean country says it hopes to become China’s most important commercial link in Latin America.

The first round of free trade talks between China and Peru has started in Lima. Peruvian Foreign Affairs minister Mercedes Araoz and the deputy director general of International Trade Department, of China’s Commerce Ministry, Zhu Hong, attended the event. Peru is hopeful the talks can open the window for further bilateral trade between the two countries.

Mercedes Araoz, Peruvian Trade Minister said "We have in our minds that negotiations with China are negotiations for the future, not only for today but for always. Within this dynamic, China will become our principal socio-economic partner in Asia. And we will also work towards a goal where Peru becomes the principal socio-economic partner for China in the South American Pacific."

China is already one of the principal destinations for Peruvian exports. Between January and November last year, exports from Peru to China reached 2.7 billion US dollars, up over 43 percent from the previous year.

Araoz said they hope to soon offer more added-value exports, such as manufactured zinc.

Peru is increasingly seeing trade as a way to develop its economy. The country has been pushing to strike free-trade deals with countries worldwide to lure foreign investment.

 source: CCTV