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Chinese, Peruvian Presidents Vow to Boost Trade Ties

Chinese President Hu Jintao and his Peruvian counterpart Alan Garcia on Thursday pledged to promote bilateral trade ties.

The two leaders made the pledge when addressing a breakfast meeting of leading Chinese and Peruvian business figures.

Hu, who is on a state visit to Peru, said friendly cooperation between China and Peru has been fruitful in various areas since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1971, and in particular, bilateral economic and trade cooperation has been expanding steadily.

China has become the second biggest trading partner and export market of Peru and Peru is now one of the Latin American countries that China has put most investments in, Hu said.

Their economic cooperation has brought tangible benefits for the two peoples, and has become a strong driving force for the development of overall bilateral ties, he added.

The two countries wrapped up negotiations on a free trade pact on Wednesday. Setting up a free trade zone is a "strategic decision" made by the governments of the two countries, Hu said.

China is ready to work with the Peruvian side to expand the scale of bilateral trade, improve the trade mix, and achieve a trade balance in a positive way, he said.

He said each of the two countries has its own advantages in terms of capital, resources, technology and market, and the rapid economic growth in the two countries is giving impetus to efforts to expand their cooperation.

Hu said the turmoil in international financial markets, the problems of energy and food security and slowdown in the global economy have had some negative effect on economic development in both countries and their economic cooperation.

"Under these circumstances, the two sides should make greater efforts to strengthen coordination and cooperation" and strive to maintain the sound momentum of bilateral trade cooperation, he said.

To further expand cooperation, the two countries should focus their efforts on the following aspects, Hu said.

First, the two countries should enhance cooperation in key areas, particularly in the mining sector. Cooperation in the mining sector is important to raising the level of bilateral cooperation and promoting common development, he said.

Secondly, the two countries should also increase mutual investment. The Chinese government will continue to encourage and make efforts to create conditions for competent Chinese companies to invest in Peru so as to create more jobs there and achieve win-win results for the two nations, he said.

Thirdly, the two governments should improve services. The two governments can offer policy consultation and information services for cooperation between companies of the two countries, he said.

Garcia praised the measures adopted by the Chinese government during the global financial crisis, and said he was convinced that China "can overcome the adverse effects of the crisis" and maintain its economic growth, thus contributing to the stability of the world economy.

Peru is proud to become China's strategic partner, Garcia said, adding his country hopes to develop long-term strategic cooperation with China, particularly in the mining, infrastructure and building sectors.

On Wednesday, the two countries announced that their bilateral ties were upgraded to a strategic partnership.

He pledged to provide a favorable and stable environment for Chinese companies investing in Peru. Peru will open its arms to Chinese investments, he said.

Hu arrived in Lima on Wednesday for a state visit to Peru. During his stay in Peru, Hu will also attend the Economic Leaders' Informal Meeting of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), scheduled for November 22-23.

(Xinhua News Agency November 21, 2008)

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