Peru minister says free trade agreement strengthening trade with China

Tuesday, Nov 01,2011, 10:24:40 PM

Lima, 31 Oct - Trade relations between Peru and China saw continuous strengthening in the past years, as mutual interests and benefit created a stronger flow of investment and trade between both sides.

China-Latin America trade amounted to 180bn dollars in 2010, a 50-percent increase year on year. Bilateral trade between Peru and China stands at over 10bn dollars as of now, while investments by Chinese companies in Peru are close to 1.2bn dollars, according to the Peruvian Chinese Chamber of Commerce.

Peruvian exports to China reached 5.426 billion dollars in 2010 and that is just "the beginning of very promising relations," which will be extended over the next years, aided by the 2009 free trade agreement between China and Peru, Peru's Deputy Industry Minister Julio Guzman told Xinhua.

The trade deal has created "great expectations" with Peruvian businessmen, as the manufacturing in Peru saw the new trade ties with China as particularly beneficial and a win-win situation for both countries, he said.

Though most of the products sent to China are raw materials, such as mining and agribusiness products, there is still "ample room" inspired by the agreement to expand the export base into other sectors, he said.

"From the step we have taken with the free trade agreement, we are going to strengthen our relations in other areas, such as international cooperation, technical assistance and investment, and we look forward to diversifying exports of value added products," he said.

In the last few years, China has surpassed the United States to become the main international purchaser of Peruvian products, Jose Rosas, General Manager of Lima Chamber of Commerce, said.

Rosas said Peru now is working on both the diplomatic and commercial levels with China to ensure Peru's agricultural products are exported to China and take the full advantage of the free trade agreement.

The products from the Chinese automotive industry "now are massively entering the Peruvian market," and earned a higher recognition in Peru.

The Chamber has established many inter-institutional cooperation agreements with trade unions and other business organizations in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangdong.

With regard to the tourism sector, Rosas said Peru also needs to make adjustments to create a direct airline route between Peru and China in order to attract more tourists, while Peru also needs to consider the use of maritime transportation.

China and Latin America, including Peru, are complementary in trade.

China mainly exports to Latin America manufactured products such as computers, telecommunication equipment, clothes, shoes, electronic products, motor bikes and motors, while the main exports from Latin America to China are raw materials including minerals.

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