Yonhap News, Korea
S. Korea, Peru upgrade relations to ’comprehensive strategic partnership’
10 May 2012
SEOUL(Yonhap) — South Korea and Peru upgraded their relations to a "comprehensive strategic partnership" Thursday in a move expected to bring the two far-off countries even closer after their economic ties got a boost from last year’s free trade agreement.
The two sides issued a joint declaration on the partnership after summit talks between South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and Peruvian President Ollanta Humala. It calls for bolstering all-round cooperation from political and military ties to economic, science and technology and other areas.
Humala arrived in Seoul earlier in the day for a three-day state visit that also includes a trip to the industrial city of Ulsan. South Korea, where Humala was posted as a military attache in 2004, was the second leg of his first trip to Asia since taking office last year. He earlier visited Japan.
According to the declaration, the two countries agreed to deepen political cooperation through high-level visits, political consultations and joint committees. They also agreed to further elevate the partnership through economic cooperation, such as natural resources development, industrial transformation and investment.
South Korea and Peru put a bilateral free trade agreement into effect in August last year. The pact is expected to further bolster their already fast-increasing trade volume. The two countries have seen their trade rise more than sixfold over the past eight years.
"Welcoming the free trade agreement, since it has come into effect, has contributed to an increase in trade volume, investment and cooperation in the private sector, the sides decided to strengthen bilateral economic relations through smooth implementation and further utilization of the agreement and its mechanisms," the declaration said.
The two countries also signed a double taxation prevention treaty that official said lays the institutional groundwork for greater economic cooperation and to bring substantial benefits to South Korean firms operating in the Latin American nation.
South Korea and Peru forged diplomatic relations in 1963. Last year’s trade volume amounted to US$3.33 billion, and South Korea’s investment in Peru stood at $1.77 billion at the end of last year.