Peru’s FTA with EU and Colombia Likely to Take Force in February

A free trade agreement between Peru, Colombia and the European Union will likely come into effect in February next year, according to Peru’s Foreign Trade and Tourism Minister, Jose Luis Silva.

The trade deal is the latest agreement that Peru has been moving forward. Over the past several years, Peru has signed FTAs with China, the United States, Canada, Japan, and several other countries.

On Tuesday, the European Parliament approved the trade deal with 486 votes in favor, 147 against and 41 absentees.   The agreement is between the EU and both Colombia and Peru because the EU only negotiates with trade groups or blocks and not with individual countries.

“This is clear proof of the willingness of the European Union to continue developing commercial ties between that part of the world and Latin American countries such as Peru,” said Silva.

Peru’s Congress still needs to approve the FTA, which it is expected to do this week, Silva said, according to state news agency Andina.

“We hope that in the next few weeks we can complete the necessary steps so that the FTA comes into force in the first quarter of 2013,” he said.

Peru’s government says that some 18% of the country’s exports go to Europe, which is more than China or the United States.  The private exporters association, Adex, says the FTA will benefit Peru’s manufacturing, agricultural exports and non-traditional fishing industries.

Silva said that all of Peru’s industrial exports and 90% of its agricultural exports will enter duty-free to Europe on day one of the FTA.

Negotiations for the trade pact started in 2010 and finished in June this year.

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