SEOUL – The second vice president of Peru, Mercedes Araoz, said in Seoul on Thursday that her government had placed high priority on South Korea in terms of trade and strategic ties, owing to strong bilateral relations between the nations.
Araoz underlined the importance of her four-day trip to the Asian country as it was the first one by a Peruvian senior official after the formation of a new government there, under the leadership of President Moon Jae-in, who was sworn in on May 10.
“We have had a very strong bilateral relationship since 2011 when we signed the free trade agreement and the strategic alliance that has been shaped from 2012 onwards,” Araoz told EFE in an interview.
Araoz said that the Kuczynski government had always given a high priority to South Korea and pointed out that Vice President Martin Vizcarra had visited in September last year.
She said during her current visit, which began on June 27 and focused on technological cooperation, she has met South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon, Interior Minister Kim Boo-kyum, First Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung-nam and Second Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyun.
She has discussed South Korean support for Peru’s entry into the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
“They have given us important support,” said Araoz, who believes that Peru presents a strong case for membership as it is in tune with OECD in public policies, including in the fight against corruption and commitment towards the environment, which was reflected in Lima hosting the COP20 climate change summit.
In this regard, she highlighted the importance of the continuous process of reform in Peru in the last 25 years.
“It has been a continuous process of reforms, independent of changes in government,” she said.
“Proof of this is that, despite a strong opposition in parliament currently, there is a total confluence to move forward with the legislation that will make us full members of the OECD if we are invited.”