LIMA, Aug 31 — Peru is expected to start first talks toward an eventual free trade agreement (FTA) with Saudi Arabia in 2015, Peruvian Ambassador Eduardo Martinetti to the Western Asian country has recently announced.
According to the Peruvian envoy, FTA negotiations will take place in the framework of Peruvian President’s official visit to Saudi Arabia.
President Ollanta Humala is expected to attend the fourth Summit of South American and Arab Countries (ASPA), to be held in the Arab country next year.
“Peru is looking forward to the meeting since such an agreement will not only boost its multilateral trade with the Gulf, but also bolster economic and financial joint ventures”, said Martinetti, who arrived in the Kingdom as the first Peruvian ambassador in July 2012.
The Peruvian Embassy has started the groundwork ahead of the upcoming negotiations.
“Every country involved will form a committee comprising experts and advisers from the private sector so that their views and interests can be harmonized,” the Peruvian envoy said.
He recalled that a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed last year by Peru, Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries, which indicates that the above-mentioned countries will adopt measures for expanding and liberalizing their trade relations, including establishing a free-trade area between them,
Talking about the ASPA summit, he said that the event will be attended by the Peruvian leader and eleven other South American heads of state, as well as monarchs and prime ministers from 22 Arab countries.
Martinetti added that the previous ASPA Summit was held in Lima, Peru, with the attendance of high-ranking officials from Saudi Arabia and other GCC and Arab League countries.
Benefiting from its vast and diversified resources and exports, Peru pursues an open economy and has signed free-trade agreements with all its major trading partners, including the United States, China and the European Union.
“Peru is big on mining, although the country has prospected only 25 percent of its total territory,” the ambassador said. He added that his country ranks first in Latin America in gold production, second in silver worldwide and third in copper, tin and zinc.