China signs new trade deals with Peru

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski signed 18 agreements, including one on mining and a measure to enhance their existing bilateral trade agreement.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski signed 18 agreements, including one on mining and a measure to enhance their existing bilateral trade agreement. PHOTO: EPA

LIMA (AFP) - China's President Xi Jinping signed new trade deals on Monday with Peru, one of its partners in its drive to boost world trade in the face of protectionist stirrings.

A day after taking part in the APEC Asia-Pacific trade summit, Xi made a formal visit to the host nation, a major mineral and food exporter.

He and Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski in a public ceremony signed 18 agreements, including one on mining and a measure to enhance their existing bilateral trade agreement.

The head of the Peru-China chamber of commerce Jose Tam was quoted ahead of the talks by Peruvian newspaper El Comercio as saying that Xi was expected to discuss a deal for exporting Peruvian prawns and blueberries to China.

During the APEC summit Xi cast his country as a leader of free trade cooperation.

That was seen as a response to US President-elect Donald Trump's threats to restrict free trade deals in order to protect US jobs.

Kuczynski was elected this year on promises to attract foreign trade and investment to Peru.

Peru and its neighbors Brazil and Bolivia are also reportedly hoping to secure Chinese investment to build a railway linking the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

China's Trade Minister Gao Hucheng, quoted by Peruvian news agency Andina, said China recently overtook the United States as Peru's top trading partner.

Bilateral trade was worth US$7.1 billion (S$10.1 billion) in the first half of this year, he said.