Two South American presidents accompanied by several ministers and business delegations will be spending this week in Asia promoting trade and investment and looking to consolidate links with the world’s second largest economy and the fastest growing continent.
Peruvian president Ollanta Humala arrives in Japan on Tuesday for a three day official visit where he will attend the X meeting of the Peruvian-Japanese Business Council and a responsible investments’ seminar at the Japanese Foreign Trade Agency.
The Peruvian leader will be received by the Emperor Akihito at the Imperial Palace and will hold work meetings with Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and the head of the International Cooperation Agency Akihito Tanaka while Peruvian ministers meet with their host peers.
Last March first a Peru-Japan economic association agreement became effective and both sides are interested in promoting trade and investments.
On Thursday Humala with Foreign minister Rafael Roncagliolo, Economy minister Luis Miguel Castilla and Foreign Trade and Tourism minister Jose Luis Silva plus the delegation of over thirty business people will leave for Korea also on an official visit.
Likewise Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos on Tuesday arrives to China for a visit that will extend until May 12. Colombia is one of the most successful economies in the region and contrary to other important trade partners of China such as Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador and Venezuela has no debts pending with Beijing.
“We want Colombia to become a better and closer friend of China”, said President Santos to the Chinese news agency Xinhua before leaving for Beijing. “We also have much of what China needs such as energy, food, water and woods”, he added.
The Colombian presidential delegation includes Foreign minister Maria Angela Holguín; Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism Sergio Diaz-Granados; Minister of Transport German Cardona, minister of Mines and Energy Mauricio Cardenas and Agriculture minister Juan Camilo Restrepo, plus over fifty private business leaders in all the above mentioned fields.
Santos will be making most political contacts in Beijing and then flies to Shanghai to meet business leaders and investors, including witnessing the signature of an agreement with China’s third largest petrochemical giant, Sinochem, interested in Colombia’s vast oil and coal reserves.
The visit is also expected to help launch a task force to begin working on a free trade agreement between both countries similar to those China has with Chile, Peru and Costa Rica. An investment protection agreement signed in 2008 and which has gone through the approval stages in the two countries could be announced as becoming effective during Santos visit.