Norway and Peru next trade targets
Source: China Daily
19 March 2007
BEIJING, March 19 — Peru and Norway are China’s next target as trade partners even as the country is busy discussing free trade agreements (FTAs) with two dozen economies.
China and Peru are expected to begin joint studies on trade later this month or in early April, according to a source.
The working panels of the two countries will discuss the main areas for and the methods to be applied to future negotiations, said the source, who didn’t want to be named.
The date for the talks is likely to be announced when Li Changchun, a member of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China’s Politburo, visits Peru, the source said.
Li is scheduled to visit Mexico, Venezuela, Suriname, Peru and Samoa from today until April 5.
China signed the FTA with Chile at the end of 2005, and Peru is expected to follow because it has a similar trade structure with the country, Foreign Affairs College professor Fan Ying said.
A Peruvian official has been quoted as having said that the two countries could ink a deal next year.
According to the General Administration of Customs, China’s exports to Peru hit 1.01 billion U.S. dollars last year, up 65.6 percent year on year, while the country’s imports from the South American country totaled 2.91 billion U.S. dollars, up 27.7 percent.
A Peruvian exporters’ association has said the country’s exports of other products besides minerals have risen too. Last year, non-traditional exports to China, such as fish products and timber, rose 79 percent year on year to 138 million U.S. dollars.
China is about to sign an FTA with Norway, too, the source said.
After becoming a member of World Trade Organization China is seeking trade relations across the world, Fan said.
That means it’s eyeing not only the traditional markets, but also those beyond.
"The proposed FTA talks with Norway reflects China’s move to strengthen its presence in North European markets," she said.
Sino-Norwegian trade reached 2.95 billion U.S. dollars last year. Chinese consumer goods created a market in Norway, which otherwise has strong metallurgy, petrochemical and oil exploiting sectors.
During a visit to Norway in September last year, Commerce Minister Bo Xilai had said that there is a "potential in Sino-Norwegian cooperation, thanks to the two countries’ economies and trade volumes".
Bo hoped the two sides would strengthen their cooperation in fields such as shipbuilding, tunnel engineering and infrastructure construction.