Yesterday, Peruvian Minister of International Trade and Tourism Eduardo Ferreyros announced that his country intends to sign a free-trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union in the next two weeks. Marianne van Oteen, EU chief delegate to Peru, added that she hopes the FTA can enter into force by the end of 2011, as the agreement must be translated into 21 different languages and then await ratification by the parliaments of the EU and Peru. The terms for the FTA were agreed upon last week.
The EU is a key trading partner as it accounts for one-fifth of all global trade and is the world’s largest exporter and second-largest importer. However it is only one element of Peru’s larger trade agenda. According to Peru’s Ministry of International Trade and Tourism (MINCETUR), Peru has signed bilateral FTAs with the United States, Singapore, Canada, China and the European Free Trade Association. Peru is also presently negotiating preferential trade agreements with Mexico, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and a bloc of Central American nations.
Negotiations have already been concluded—but agreements not yet implemented—with Japan, South Korea and Thailand. The latter trend is part of Peru’s “Look to Asia” strategy as described by AS/COA director of policy Jason Marczak. Recent data shows it is working, as bilateral commerce between Peru and China increased by 43.6 percent in 2010.