Peru, one of the fastest growing economies in the world, will sign free-trade deals with Canada and Singapore next Thursday announced President Alan Garcia. Peru recently signed a landmark free trade agreement with United States.
"On Thursday, we will sign free trade agreements with Canada and Singapore and continue the opening of markets" Garcia told reporters. "All eyes are set on Peru because of our vigorous growth, 9% in 2007, which has opened the way for these agreements". President García's free trade push is broadly supported by Peru's business community, where there is little in the way of a domestic manufacturing lobby demanding protection. Canada is Peru's second foreign investor behind Spain, with a 4 billion US dollars stake mostly in the mining industry. President García said that the objective of his administration is to consolidate foreign markets for Peru particularly in North America where "we have the FTA with the US, now with Canada and also the expansion of the economic complementation understanding with Mexico". Singapore should help Peru enhance competitiveness through technology transfer, plus investments and the imports of capital goods, added the Peruvian president. The Garcia administration is also interested in similar agreements with China and with the European Union through the Andean Community which is made up of Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru. However negotiations with the EU are slow and at times stalled because of the reticence of Bolivia and Ecuador to open their markets. Peru mainly exports minerals and specialty agricultural goods like artichoke and asparagus, while it imports goods from cars to electronics. The embassies of Canada and Singapore said the deals will be signed on Thursday, after which they will be sent to the legislatures of each country for approval.