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Peru trade deal could expand to include seafood

By An Baijie | China Daily | Updated: 2017-09-13 07:46

China is expected to open its market soon for seafood imports from Peru soon amid the two countries' joint efforts to upgrade their free trade agreement in line with the consensus reached by their leaders, said the Peruvian ambassador to China.

Peruvian Minister of Production Pedro Olaechea will come to Shanghai to participate at the Conference of Quality Fair on Sep 16, and during his visit, the two countries will sign a protocol to allow the access of Peruvian seafood to China, Ambassador Juan Carlos Capunay told China Daily in an exclusive interview on Friday.

"We have lobsters, we have giant calamari, we have shrimps, we have a number of products. We have big production. I am sure we will have very good improvement in the export of seafood to China," he said.

The protocol is a move to implement the consensus reached by President Xi Jinping and Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski during President Xi's state visit to Peru in November last year. The two sides agreed to upgrade their free trade agreement signed in 2009.

China is now Peru's biggest trade partner, export market and source of imports. Bilateral trade between reached about $17 billion last year.

According to the ambassador, currently there is only very small amount of Peruvian seafood being exported to the Chinese mainland, and it is mainly frozen.

Noting that the China Eastern Airlines opened a new air cargo route to Peru last year mainly for fruit transportation, the ambassador said that the flight will make it more convenient for Peru's seafood export to China.

"The seafood will arrive here fresh in 30 hours, not two months as it takes through the ship," he said.

China is currently the biggest buyer of Peru's fish meal, and about 70 percent of the South American country's fish meal exports are consumed by China.

The ambassador said that the two countries have kept expanding free trade in the past years. For example, China opened its market for Peru's avocados in 2015 and blueberries last year, while Peru is making the arrangement for the access to the Peruvian market of Chinese apples and pears.

"It is a win-win relationship. We will have access to the Chinese market for Peruvian seafood, and China will have access to the Peruvian market for apple," he said, adding that the two countries are looking forward to an economic complementarity.

Mentioning that China and Peru signed 18 projects of investment, mostly for mining and technology sectors, during President Xi's visit last year, the ambassador said that the "new concept" of the economic relation is oriented to consolidating a win-win relationship.

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