NEW DELHI – India approved on Wednesday the beginning of free trade agreement talks with Peru, aimed at strengthening bilateral exchange.
In a tweet, the country’s Press Information Bureau said the cabinet has “approved holding negotiations for Trade Agreement with Peru on trade in goods, services and investment.”
In 2012, India and Peru began a talk process with a view to reach a trade deal.
Although New Delhi’s initial proposal was directed towards a partial scope agreement with Lima, the plan was revised in October 2013 by its government so that the pact could include all goods and services of the trade spectrum.
In 2014, the two countries kicked off a feasibility study of the said agreement in several rounds, the last of which was held in September 2016 in Lima.
Figures from Peru’s foreign trade ministry say commercial exchange with India stood at around $1.6 billion in 2015, with imports of some $935 million and exports worth $678 million.
The Andean nation mainly exports agricultural and agroindustrial products, ore concentrates, iron, copper, gold, fertilizers, zinc, fishmeal, hides and leather to India, while the latter sells electric equipment, machinery, auto parts, textile products, footwear and plastics to Peru.
So far, the only South American country with whom India has signed a trade agreement is Chile, in the form of a partial scope agreement, which was expanded to include 2,800 products in September last year.
Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, founding members of Mercosur, the South American sub-regional common market, are also in talks with New Delhi for a trade deal.