by Jose Aguiar
LIMA, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- The upcoming China International Import Expo has the potential to energize trade between Peru and the Asian giant, said Peruvian Foreign Trade and Tourism Minister Rogers Valencia.
Valencia described the expo, to be held in Shanghai on Nov. 5-10, as "very important," saying it represents an "initiative towards open trade and contributes to energizing trade between the two countries."
At the expo, Peru plans to showcase its best-selling export brands, including Super Foods Peru, Alpaca of Peru and Coffees of Peru, featuring products native to the South American country that are in high demand abroad.
The strategy aims to strengthen Peru's existing trade ties with China, its main export destination since 2014 and leading source of imports.
While most of Peru's current exports to China are related to minerals, there is "ample potential" to trade other products, such as agricultural goods, fish and seafood, and textiles such as fine alpaca, the minister said.
Peru's delegation to the fair will include representatives of the country's main export guilds as well as 16 companies "that will take the best of our foods," said Valencia.
The country's range of exportable foodstuff goes from specialty coffees to pepper, Andean grains, chocolate and such nutrition-packed "super foods" as maca (a root vegetable), sacha inchi (an Amazonian plant) and kiwicha (a type of amaranth).
"Given the importance of the event and the interest it has generated not just in China, but also around the rest of the world, we believe our participation will let us present our country's progress in developing a series of exportable products..." to a large audience, said Valencia.
To continue to diversify its exports to China "with high-quality goods," Peru "will keep working" within the framework of the free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries, which was put into effect in March 2010, said the minister.
"We have been working with China to begin the process of optimizing our FTA. That will allow us to modernize and maximize the benefits of the agreement, which will result in a greater trade flow between our two countries," said Valencia.
China and Latin America in general have in recent years made an effort "to strengthen ties, boost trade and encourage investment flows," he said.
"That has led to a significant increase in Chinese investment in Latin American countries, especially in key sectors of their economies, such as transport, infrastructure and telecommunications," he noted.
For regional countries looking to step up exchange with China, Valencia recommended striking a trade pact, saying "one way to strengthen bilateral trade is negotiating free trade agreements."
Peru succeeded "in strengthening its ties with China through an FTA," he added.
For the region as a whole, the best way to further ties with China would be to participate in its Belt and Road Initiative to increase international trade and promote global infrastructure construction, he said.
That would also lead to the strengthening of multilateral ties, said Valencia.