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Peru eyes free trade agreement with India

Times of India, India

Peru eyes Free Trade agreement with India

By Chethan Kumar, TNN

30 November 2015

BENGALURU: Hoping to increase bilateral trade with India, South American nation Peru is looking to sign a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with India in the next three to four years, a successful achievement of which will make it the first Latin American country to have an FTA with India.

Peru’s Ambassador to India Jose JG Betancourt said on Monday: "The FTA will just not be for goods and services, it will be a comprehensive one that will have a holistic impact with even movement of people eased."

He added that Peru will also support the global solar alliance being launched by India and France. In his first official visit to any state in the country, Jose, who only took charge two months ago, said: "...And in this regard (improvement of trade and relations) I told the external affairs ministry that Karnataka has to be the first state I visit officially. The state not only has a great history and culture but has also move along at a swift pace in the fields of science and technology and other businesses."

Anne Maeda from the Embassy of Peru in-charge of Economic and Commercial affairs added that the country is looking at getting more Indians to invite in Peru, especially in the mining sector, while Vikram Vishwanath, the Honourary Consul in Bengaluru said they have already met people from the Kudhremukh and Hatti Gold Mines.

Jose said that he also met with home minister G Parameshwar and is going to meet industry bodies and other government officials on Tuesday.

Anne reiterated that the FTA will be crucial and will focus on trade, investment, mining, energy besides IT and pharma sectors. Peruvian media had reported last month that the FTA is being pushed for aiming to to increase the bilateral from $1.5 billion to$2 billion.

Speaking on the sidelines, Vishwanath said that "from now gold coming to India from Peru will take a direct route and not go through Europe, especially the Netherlands."

"Following some improvements and India’s Make-In-India plan, gold will no more be routed through other countries. Also, our Ambassador is like to meet some jewellers from India, beginning with a few in Bengaluru," he said.

Among other things, keeping in mind the global solar alliance and the potential in Peru, the country is looking to attract Indian investment and technology in the renewable energy sector.

Jose said that there is not only a lot of scope but that there is also an immediate requirement.

"The scientists are telling us that we need to do something about energy and emission and India is leading the way in solar energy, which we want to become beneficiaries of," he said.