Foreign Affairs Minister: Peru President Alan Garcia to travel to Japan to attract foreign investment

President Alan Garcia’s upcoming trip to Japan will improve political, commercial and economic relations between Peru and Japan, and attract more foreign investment to the Andean country, said Foreign Affairs Minister José Antonio Belaunde.

Garcia’s trip, which is scheduled for February, is crucial, said Belaunde in comments Sunday to state news agency Andina.

“Peru must attract the greatest amount of investment as possible,” he added, “especially ahead of the global financial crisis that is affecting a majority of countries.”

Japan will be the host of a “Mega business event” on Feb. 24, during which Peruvian and Japanese business executives will gather to discuss communication, fishing and state-of-the-art technology.

“The possibilities are endless,” said Belaunde.

In November, shortly after Peru wrapped up trade talks with China and announced plans for free trade negotiations with South Korea, Garcia and Japan’s Prime Minister Taro Aso signed an investment protection agreement.

The agreement, and Peru’s intention of securing new markets for its goods to offset slumping demand in the U.S., may lead to the onset of free trade negotiations with Japan in February. According to Peru’s Trade Ministry, trade between the two countries — which includes mainly metals and fish — jumped 70 percent to approximately $3 billion last year.

After his trip to Japan, Garcia is also scheduled to tour the Persian Gulf in hopes of attracting investment from countries such as Dubai, Qatar, and Kuwait.

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