Peru-South Korea launch second round of trade talks, free trade deal in the works

Peru and South Korea initiated a second round of trade talks to sort out differences on touchy topics such as sanitary norms, intellectual property and environmental issues, daily La República reported Monday.

The four-day talks, set to last until May 14, 2009, will also tackle telecommunications, financial services, tariffs, and, among other issues, investment. Peru Commerce and Tourism Minister Mercedes Aráoz and her counterparts, including South Korean ambassador Hahn Young Hee, will convene at Peru’s Lima University.

The first round of Peru-South Korea trade talks concluded satisfactorily in Seoul last March. A Peru-Korea FTA would, according to a FTA Joint Feasibility Study, increase Peru’s GDP by 0.22 percent, Korean exports to Peru by 27 percent and Peruvian exports to the Asian country by 15 percent.

Since his election in July 2006, Peru President Alan García’s has aggressively pursued a series of trade deals with key commercial partners, including the U.S., Canada, Hong Kong, Thailand, and China.Talks on an FTA with Singapore are underway and will begin at the end of May with Japan.

Peru, Ecuador and Colombia – but not Bolivia – are also seeking to negotiate a trade deal the European Union, or E.U.

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