China, Peru move to in­crease ex­changes from the top down

China Daily (USA) - - ACROSS AMERICAS - By MAO PENGFEI in Mex­ico City For China Daily

The eco­nomic, po­lit­i­cal and cul­tural ex­changes be­tween China and Peru dur­ing the past two months, es­pe­cially the meet­ing be­tween pres­i­dents Xi Jin­ping and Pe­dro Pablo Kuczyn­ski, sig­nal a promis­ing fu­ture for bi­lat­eral ties, ac­cord­ing to Peru­vian ex­perts.

“I think the out­come of the visit has an im­pact on two dif­fer­ent lev­els: The first is strate­gic, and the sec­ond, more con­crete one is bi­lat­eral ties,” said Rosario Santa Gadea, di­rec­tor of the Peru-China Stud­ies Cen­ter at the Uni­ver­sity of the Pa­cific (UP).

Santa Gadea said she ex­pected the strate­gic as­pect of the Sept 12-16 visit, Kuczyn­ski’s first trip abroad since tak­ing of­fice, to have a trick­le­down ef­fect on the broader re­la­tion­ship.

In a strate­gic sense, “di­rect con­tact be­tween the pres­i­dents, be­tween the lead­er­ship at the high­est level, pro­motes ties at other gov­ern­men­tal lev­els and con­trib­utes to mu­tual knowl­edge, so from that point of view, the visit is key”, said Santa Gadea.

In the joint in­ter­view, the vice-rec­tor of re­search at UP, Cyn­thia San­born, said she be­lieved the visit served to ac­knowl­edge China’s sig­nifi to Peru as a trade part­ner.

“The pres­i­dent’s trip to China is an im­por­tant ges­ture of recog­ni­tion of the im­por­tance of the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two coun­tries,” said San­born, adding that “polls also show the Peru­vian pub­lic is very pleased by the visit”.

To strengthen the re­la­tion­ship, Peru’s “out­look on its fu­ture with China (cen­ters on) di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion. That, say, is the out­look’s key­word, be­cause we need to leave be­hind the model of re­la­tion­ship in which we ex­port raw ma­te­ri­als and re­ceive in­vest­ment in ex­trac­tive re­sources,” said Santa Gadea.

To di­ver­sify its China-re­lated pro­duc­tion, Peru needs to in­dus­tri­al­ize its min­ing sec­tor, she said.

“The idea is to be able to rise through the pro­duc­tion chain by re­fin­ing min­er­als in Peru,” be­fore ex­port­ing them to China, said Santa Gadea.

“One of the di­rec­tions the visit took was to en­cour­age Chi­nese in­vestors to es­tab­lish foundries and re­finer­ies that would lead to higher added-value ex­ports. One way to do that would be to in­dus­tri­al­ize min­ing. An­other way would be to di­ver­sify sec­tors in which there is Chi­nese in­vest­ment, which seems to me presents an en­tire field to ex­plore,” said Santa Gadea.

Ed­uardo Fer­rey­ros, Peru’s min­is­ter of for­eign com­merce and tourism, who ac­com­pa­nied the pres­i­dent to Bei­jing, told re­porters on Mon­day that this trip helped lay the ground­work for ex­pand­ing ties in trade, tourism and in­vest­ment.

In Bei­jing, Fer­rey­ros met with his Chi­nese coun­ter­part to dis­cuss ex­pand­ing a cus­toms co­op­er­a­tion agree­ment de­signed to pre­vent smug­gling; and Chi­nese in­vest­ment in agri­cul­ture, agroin­dus­try and tourism in Peru.

“We are en­cour­ag­ing Chi­nese ho­tel chains to es­tab­lish them­selves in Peru, to in­vest in ho­tels that have the par­tic­u­lar fea­tures to at­tend to their cit­i­zens,” said Fer­rey­ros adding that they will hold events in China to pro­mote Peru.

To at­tract more Chi­nese tourism, Peru has changed its visa re­stric­tions to al­low Chi­nese leisure and busi­ness trav­el­ers to stay in the coun­try for up to 150 days, he said.

In trade, China Eastern Air­lines will likely be the car­rier in charge of trans­port­ing Peru’s first ship­ment of cran­ber­ries and prawns des­tined for the Chi­nese mar­ket, as well as other non­tra­di­tional ex­ports, said the min­is­ter.

In Oc­to­ber, of­fi­cials from both coun­tries ex­pect to con­clude a phy­tosan­i­tary agree­ment to be signed in Novem­ber at an up­com­ing sum­mit of the Asia-Pa­cific Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion (APEC) fo­rum.

Dur­ing the trip, Kuczyn­ski ex­pressed an in­ter­est in hav­ing Peru join the China-led Asian In­fra­struc­ture In­vest­ment Bank (AIIB), a move both aca­demics sup­port be­cause an al­ter­na­tive lend­ing in­sti­tu­tion, such as the AIIB, im­plies ac­cess to fund­ing with bet­ter terms than those tra­di­tion­ally pro­vided by the In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund or World Bank.

In ad­di­tion, Peru has rec­og­nized a need to in­vest in build­ing up its in­fra­struc­ture.

Kuczyn­ski said the rail­way project link­ing Peru’s Pa­cific port and Brazil’s At­lantic coast is of great sig­nif­i­cance, and he hopes the two sides can con­duct a fea­si­bil­ity study.

The project, if com­pleted, will make it eas­ier for ex­ports from Latin Amer­ica to reach China’s Tian­jin port city.

Driv­ing the bi­lat­eral re­la­tion­ship is also an aware­ness that Peru can learn from China’s ex­pe­ri­ence in de­vel­op­ment, Peru­vian ex­perts said.

“The sig­nif­i­cant leap that (China) has made from be­ing a poor coun­try to be­ing the power it is to­day ... is an in­spi­ra­tion” for Peru to “main­tain strong and sus­tained growth that will al­low us to make that de­vel­op­ment leap”, said Santa Gadea.

“I think there is one ex­pe­ri­ence that China can learn from us,” said San­born. “Peru is a leader in South Amer­ica in reg­u­lat­ing ex­trac­tive in­dus­tries, min­ing and hy­dro­car­bons.

“Peru has made great head­way in trans­parency when it comes to oil com­pa­nies, in terms of how much they con­trib­ute to the state and how much the state in­vests. It is also a leader in South Amer­ica in first con­sult­ing with the in­dige­nous com­mu­ni­ties” be­fore launch­ing min­ing or en­ergy projects, she said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.