DPA | 2009-04-28
China, Peru sign free trade agreement
Beijing — China and Peru on Tuesday signed a free trade agreement (FTA) that the Chinese government hailed as an "important signal" of closer international cooperation amid the global financial crisis. "With the global financial crisis looming, the China-Peru deal sends a positive message of deepening cooperation and tiding over difficulties," state media quoted Chinese Commerce Ministry official Zhu Hong as saying.
Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping and his Peruvian counterpart, Luis Giampietri Rojas, attended the signing ceremony in Beijing, both calling the deal "a new landmark" for bilateral ties, the Commerce Ministry reported on its website.
The trade pact is China’s second with a Latin American nation after the signing of a similar deal with Chile in November 2005.
"The China-Peru FTA is a comprehensive deal, covering goods, service, investment and other fields while the accord with Chile deals with goods only," the official Xinhua news agency quoted Zhu as saying.
China signed a supplementary agreement with Chile last year on trade in services.
Zhu said the agreement with Peru features a "high degree of openness" with phased, free tariffs on more than 90 per cent of goods, including Chinese electronic goods and machinery, and Peruvian fish powder and minerals.
Both nations agreed to open their service industries further and give national status to investors from the other country, the ministry said.
Zhu said the agreement was likely to be implemented in early 2010 and would help both nations overcome the global economic crisis and boost their economies.
China and Peru reached a basic accord on the free trade agreement in November after 14 months of negotiations.
Bilateral trade was valued at 7.5 billion dollars last year, according to Chinese customs statistics.
China has also signed free trade pacts with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Pakistan, New Zealand and Singapore.
It is negotiating free trade deals with countries and organizations that include Australia, the Gulf Cooperation Council, Iceland, Norway and Costa Rica, the agency said.