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Japan, Peru agree on free trade pact

The Associated Press | November 14, 2010

Japan, Peru agree on free trade pact



Japan and Peru announced Sunday that they have concluded negotiations on a free trade pact, aiming to further bolster trading that has steadily blossomed in the last six years.

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan and Peruvian President Alan Garcia signed a statement declaring the conclusion of more than a year of talks on an Economic Partnership Agreement. To come into effect, it needs to be approved by both countries’ legislatures.

The ceremony took place on the sidelines of a summit of Pacific Rim countries in the Japanese port city of Yokohama.

Since 2004, trade between Peru and Japan has grown 235 percent, hitting $2.2 billion in 2007. Eighty-five percent of Peru’s exports to Japan are minerals, including small amounts of rare earth metals. It also exports asparagus, corn, mangoes, grapes and squid.

Japanese exports to Peru include automobiles and electronics products.

Under the free trade pact, Japan and Peru will eliminate tariffs on up to 99 percent of imports over the next 10 years, Japanese officials said.

Kan welcomed the conclusion of the trade negotiations, calling it "a major step for the two countries to develop closer ties."

The deal is significant for Japan because Peru already has reached a free trade deal with South Korea, which has become Japan’s biggest rival in electronics and other advanced manufacturing, a Japanese official said.

"Now we can compete against South Korea on equal footing," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, citing policy.

Peru, Japan’s 13th free trade partner, has actively sought free trade deals with major countries, including several in Asia.

 source: AP