Tuesday, April 28, 2009

China-Peru sign free trade deal

Completing over a year of negotiations, Peru and China signed their free trade agreement into life during middle of the night while most of the Western world slept soundly.

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (R) meets with Peruvian First Vice President
Luis Giampietri Rojas at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China,
April 28, 2009. (Xinhua/Fan Rujun)

This makes Peru the second country in Latin America to sign such a deal with China after Chile which signed a agreement with Beijing in 2005.

According to Zhu Hong, deputy general director of the International Department of the Chinese Commerce Ministry, the FTA would come into full affect in 2010.

"The China-Peru FTA is a comprehensive deal, covering goods, service, investment and other fields while the accord with Chile deals with goods only," Zhu said. A complementary deal on service trade was signed with Chile in 2008.

"The pact features a high degree of openness," Zhu said, citing phased, free tariffs on more than 90 percent of goods ranging from China's electronic products and machinery to Peru's fish powder and minerals.

Under the deal, both pledged to further open their service sectors and offer national treatment to investors from the other country.

Trade between Peru and China reached $7.5 billion in 2008.

China is also in Free Trade talks with Australia, the Gulf Cooperation Council, Iceland, Norway and Costa Rica.

One thing is certain, the US is not the only one who can sign Free Trade Agreements, China has in all actuality has been far more successful in recent years (thanks in large to political squabbling in the US) at signing trade agreements with strategic partners around the world than the US has.