Peru signs FTA with Mexico in its 10th International Trade Pact
by Sophie Kevany, Dow Jones Newswires
LIMA — Peru signed a free-trade agreement with Mexico on Wednesday, its 10th international commercial pact.
At a televised ceremony, Peru's president, Alan Garcia, said it was an important day for Peru, guaranteeing a trade "flow" that would boost social development and economic growth.
Garcia said trade between Peru and Mexico was worth $413 million in 2010. The latest figures from Peru's trade ministry show Peru's exports to Mexico totaled $242 million in 2009, its 19th most important trade partner that year.
Trade Minister Eduardo Ferreyros also said he was "very happy" with the signing, which took five years of work and should take effect in July. He said the pact is expected to boost trade between the countries by close to 40%.
"This agreement will bring important benefits primarily for small and medium companies. Mexico is relatively close, has similar customs and language and enormous trade potential," said Ferreyros.
The most sensitive trade area during negotiations, said Ferreyros, was the agricultural sector. He said the final accord was built around seasonal trading solutions allowing lower tariffs for farm exports at certain times of the year when production was high in one country and low in the other.
Peru has trade agreements with a number of nations including the U.S. and China. A trade pact with Japan is also due to take effect in July, while another one with Europe should be ready in the first half of 2012.
Peru is a leading producer of silver, copper and fishmeal, as well as a number of other mining and agricultural sector products.