The Telegraph
Friday , April 18 , 2014
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Peru weighs trade pact

Javier Paulinich in Calcutta on Thursday. Picture by Kishor Roy Chowdhury

Calcutta, April 17: Peru is looking to sign a free trade agreement (FTA) with India that will almost triple the volume of trade between the countries annually.

Both the countries will form a joint study group in June-July after the new government takes charge to examine the feasibility of such a deal. The final report could come in six months to a year.

“We are going to start negotiating the free trade agreement with India in the coming months. We are waiting for the new government to come to power and we are going to organise a joint study for its feasibility,” Javier Paulinich, ambassador of Peru to India, said at an ICC event today.

“The advantage of the FTA is to reduce the customs duty, if possible to zero. It will promote investment. Our history of FTAs is very successful. We have more than 40 FTAs currently, including with the European Union,” he said.

Two-way trade between Peru and India touched $1.5 billion in 2013. The volume of trade has gone up seven times in the past five years. Peruvian exports to India totalled $593 million in 2013.

India imported gold, copper, other metals, minerals, fresh fruits such as grapes and fishmeal from Peru in 2012. Indian exports to Peru included iron and steel products such as pipes, motorcycles and cycles, cotton yarn and fibre, vehicles and polyester yarn.

Peru has signed similar FTAs with China, one of its largest trading partners, the US and Japan.

The Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Ltd has invested in a potash mine in Peru in collaboration with a Canadian company. Tata Consultancy Services and Aegis have opened IT and BPO centres in Lima.