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BRI agreement strengthens China-Peru ties, says expert

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-05-04 18:51
Colorful floral decorations are prepared for the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, April 14, 2019. [Photo/IC]

LIMA - The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) strengthened ties between Peru and China, an expert told Xinhua.

The MoU, signed during the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in Beijing last week, will boost bilateral relations through "greater investment," said Carlos Aquino, head of the Asian Studies Center at the National University of San Marcos in Lima.

After the signing, the two countries are poised to step up cooperation on several key fronts, including infrastructure, investment and trade, Aquino told Xinhua.

With an increase in infrastructure investment, "economic activities will improve," because it will cut down on "the cost of transporting products to the ships heading overseas," said Aquino.

The cost of importing goods may also drop as given their quicker arrival in Peru faster, he said.

According to Aquino, China and Peru have already begun modernizing Peruvian ports.

In January, Peruvian mining firm Volcan and China's COSCO Shipping Ports Ltd reached an investment agreement for the design, construction and operation of the Chancay Port Complex megaproject in northern Lima.

The project "should alleviate the existing trade congestion at the port of Callao," said Aquino.

In terms of investment and trade, the MoU will also help expand the bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) that took effect in March 2010, said Aquino.

"The FTA covers not just trade but also investment -- facilitating investment by eliminating the obstacles to Chinese companies coming to Peru and, of course, Peruvian companies going to China," Aquino pointed out.

"Many factors indicate that the good ties we have with China are going to get much better with the signing of the memorandum ... and with the renovation of the free trade agreement," Aquino said.

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