Peru Not Taking Advantage of Its Many Free Trade Agreements – Business Group

Peru isn’t taking advantage of the many free trade agreements that it has signed over the past decade, the Lima Chamber of Commerce said in a report by daily El Comercio.

Signing bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements has been a central policy of Peru’s economic and trade agenda during the past decade.

President Ollanta Humala, previously a critic of free trade pacts, has continued to pursue trade accords since he took office in 2011. Peru has free trade agreements with its main trade partners, including China, the United States and the European Union.

In total, the country has 17 free trade agreements. However according to the Lima Chamber of Commerce, Peru has only really taken advantage of one-third of those deals

Carlos Garcia, the chamber’s head of trade, said that sales to the European Union have fallen by 20 percent so far this year.

“This is a concern because the European block has always stood out for its demand for products with added value, above all food, from Peru,” said Garcia.

Consultant Diego Castrillon was reported saying that Peru’s fall in exports to countries with trade pacts is a sign that the government has an inadequate policy to take advantage of the agreements.

“We can sign a lot of FTAs, but if we don’t have a market research policy carried out by the trade office the current agreements won’t serve for much,” said Castrillon.

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