on Saturday underscored that the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum allowed Peru to accelerate some free trade agreements (FTA) with Asian countries and Australia.
"Thanks to the spaces provided by APEC, we were allowed to propose and accelerate FTAs with Asian countries, such as Japan, Thailand, and China, in addition to Australia, which is now an important partner for Peru," he told Radio Nacional.
"This will be the third time we host this space. The first time was in 2008, then in 2016, and in 2024 we will host (the forum) again," he affirmed.
APEC is made up of 21 Asia-Pacific economies: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Korea, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the United States, and Vietnam.
The minister reminded citizens that Peru is one of the three economies with the most FTAs in Latin America. Yet this economy seeks to increase the 22 current trade agreements.
"We have 22 FTAs (in force) with 58 economies. Now we have proposed Hong Kong as a priority; we are in the third negotiation (round) with them, and then the fourth is coming in October," Mathews indicated.
"We are also working on the FTA with India; there we have resumed the negotiation effort, and we will have the next negotiation round before the end of this year," he added.
The government official indicated that the terms of reference for FTA negotiations with Indonesia were approved, adding that the first round begins before the end of 2023.
"Besides, we have an FTA with China in force since 2010, but we are working on modernizing the agreement, incorporating topics such as green economy, digitalization, and customs systems," Mathews stated.
"This progress has been notable. The latest meeting was held in China about four or five weeks ago, and we consider that we may have some important news by mid next year," he added.