India, Peru to sign commercial agreement
New Delhi, Nov 21: India and Peru are expected to sign a commercial agreement soon to boost trade between the two countries in areas such as mining, steel and iron ore, ships and engines, textiles and pharmaceuticals.
Peru is a good investment destination for India in these areas as it has a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States, which provides a platform for Indian investors to export to the US.
''The US is one of the largest investors in Peru. Several products are exported to the country at zero per cent duty under the FTA,'' Peru-India Chambers of Commerce Vice President Marco Hurtado said at a Buyer-Seller meet on Peru- India: Project Partnerships - Opportunities in Trade and Investment, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here today.
Mining is one area where Peru is keen to attract investments.
Small and medium industries in the mining sector are looking for investments from overseas. Also, technology and capacity built up by India in the past few years have proved to be of great advantage to Peruvian investors, Mr Hurtado said.
Urging India to be more aggressive in its investments in Peru, he said, the country has succeeded in promoting pharmaceutical products from India and would like to replicate this success for other sectors.
Charge d' affairs, Embassy of Peru, India, Victor Munoz said, Peru is also attractive for investments because of its steady economic growth. The country has maintained a growth of six per cent for several years. It has great mineral reserves and good potential in telecommunications and energy which will further enhance the trade relations between the two countries.
Bilateral trade between India and Peru has shown a quantum growth from 82 million dollars in 2001 to 190 million dollars in 2005, he added. ''We need to build up and integrated approach in our investments and partnership.'' Joint Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, R Viswanathan said there are opportunities for both the countries in signing up joint ventures in areas such as mining, metallic industry and oil.
''Peru provides a huge market of over 25 million people with 73 billion dollars GDP.'' Exports from Peru touched 17 billion dollars and imports 12.5 billion dollars in 2005. Mining constitutes more than half of Peruvian exports. Copper, natural gas, gold, zinc, silver, iron and petroleum are major natural resources of Peru, Mr Viswanathan added.
Bharat Earth Movers Ltd Chairman V R S Natarajan said the two countries are exploring possibilities of cooperation in areas like IT, defence and handicrafts. India also offers around 10 ITEC scholarships.