14:11 | Lima, Oct. 18 (ANDINA).
Peru is looking to deepen its ties with countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), and Thailand plays a vital role as a gateway to the region.
This is according to Peruvian Ambassador in Bangkok, Felix Denegri, who described Thailand as an "important gateway" to the 10-member bloc.
"Our president [Ollanta Humala] visited Thailand on the way to the recent APEC [Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation] Summit in Bali, Indonesia. Thailand is an important gateway to Asean while Peru is at the center of South America," he told Thai newspaper The Nation.
"We want more education and student exchanges because we have found that we don't know each other well enough. In a globalized world, we need a lot of networks to diversify the economy and ties when one goes down, the others may be go up.
"Now, Peru has an early harvest free-trade agreement with Thailand and we're negotiating a more comprehensive FTA," he added.
Bilateral trade between Thailand and Peru, which recently upgraded their relationship to a strategic partnership, jumped from only US$85 million in 2005 to $650 million last year.
Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and President Ollanta Humala Tasso, in a joint statement last week, said this is an important milestone that “will boost economic relations by enhancing reciprocal investment and trade and promoting each country as a gateway to their regions.”