Andina/LivinginPeru.com | October 25, 2010
Peru-Thailand free trade agreement to be signed next month
Peru will finally sign a free trade agreement with Thailand during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Japan, next month. Leaders from the 21 APEC members will gather in Fukuoka on November 12-13.
When the FTA is finally implemented in early 2011, after two documents have been subscribed since 2005, duties on almost 4,000 items will be slashed to zero.
Thai Deputy Commerce, Minister Alongkorn Ponlaboot, assured last week that Peru would serve as a gateway for Thailand to penetrate Latin America, while Thailand will be a gateway for Peru’s exports to Southeast Asia. The official also said local businesses should prepare for new opportunities under the FTA, as two-way trade is expected to increase significantly.
Both countries have already reached agreement on all details, including rules of origin, an exchange system for aquaculture products and industrial goods to minimize the risk of arguments on rules of origin.
Thailand and Peru have succeeded in their FTA talks, which started in 2003, in reducing import duties for 3,985 items accounting for 54.2 percent of the value of merchandise trade between them.
Last year, bilateral trade was worth US $132 million, with exports from Thailand to Peru valued at $96.2 million. Trade between both nations jumped significantly this year, with Thai exports reaching 315 percent to $233.5 million in the first nine months, while imports from Peru surged 136.4 percent to $75.6 million.
For Thailand, products with export potential to Peru are pickup trucks and auto parts, home appliances, especially washing machines, plastic and plastic products, and rubber. Peru will focus on fresh shrimp, fish oil and pesticides.
With the FTA, Thai businessmen will be eligible for incentives to expand their investments in Peru, which offers abundant |natural resources such as |fisheries, forests, oil and natural gas. Likewise, Peru wants Thai investors to increase their presence in the country, especially in the energy, construction, furniture and fishery industries.