Peruvian President Ollanta Humala, on a short trip to Europe, has today been discussing trade agreements with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.
Merkel has expressed her desire to put a free-trade treaty between Peru, Colombia and the European Union into practice as soon as possible.
Speaking after meeting Humala, the German leader said: “Particularly in the difficult economic situation in which some European countries find themselves, a free-trade agreement with Colombia and Peru is a good sign to promote growth.”
“We want it to come into force very soon,” she added.
European Union trade ministers approved a free-trade deal with Colombia and Peru last month.
The president of Peru thanked his host and also voiced his wish to cement an agreement with “a very important business partner;” the European Union is Peru’s biggest direct investor.
“Obviously the crisis situation worries us … We are a country that relies mainly on producing commodities, so it does affect us to a certain extent. We have felt the drop in commodities’ prices. That has affected our exports.”
Despite this, the South American country has a “stable macroeconomic policy, with large international reserves and a manageable level of debt that doesn’t surpass 20% of Peru’s GDP,” he added.
Merkel also praised a law that protects indigenous populations in Peru – a law that Germany supported financially.
“Peru has shown its interest in taking into account the needs of indigenous people,” she said.
The two countries also signed various bilateral agreements, principally in the fields of education, science, investigation and innovation.
After Germany, Humala will travel to Brussels to discuss the details of the free-trade agreement with EU ministers.