Peru leader set for key Asia trip

Peruvian President Ollanta Humala will set off this week on his first official trip to Asia, seeking to sell his country as an ideal hub for trade between Latin America and the Asia-Pacific.

Humala, who will be accompanied by several key ministers and a number of business leaders, on Tuesday will make his first stop in Japan, Peru's number five trading partner.

He will hold talks with Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and meet with Emperor Akihito, according to Peru's Foreign Ministry.

On Thursday, he will head to South Korea, where he was posted as a military attache in 2004. Talks with President Lee Myung-Bak are on the agenda, along with a visit to the industrial city of Ulsan, before departing on Saturday.

Humala is looking to drum up investment and also to secure loans at preferential rates for energy and clean drinking water programs, as well as for development of tourism in the Amazon, Foreign Minister Rafael Roncagliolo said.

Peru and South Korea will sign off on a declaration of strategic association, in a follow-up to their free trade deal.

"This is a trip primarily focused on economic interests," analyst Ernesto Velit Granda told AFP. "Peru wants to showcase its economy as a model in Latin America and try to entice investors."

Humala will tout the country's good economic health and a growth rate that is among the highest in South America. Peru's Pacific coastline and its central location on the continent are also potential selling points for investors.

Peru is already the gateway for several countries in the region doing business with Asia, including Brazil, the world's sixth-largest economy.

El Callao, not far from the capital Lima, is the number one Pacific port in South America in terms of container traffic.

According to data published last week by the UN's Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, foreign direct investment in Peru totaled $7.65 billion in 2011, a new record for the country.

Humala's first official visit to Asia comes less than a year after the start of his mandate in July 2011.

"After trips to the United States and Europe, he's showing that he's doing things in a geopolitical order of sorts," said Fernando Gonzalez Vigil, director of the APEC Study Center at the Universidad del Pacifico in Lima.

"This is a good time to go to Asia... particularly to South Korea, which has given a significant boost to its investments in Peru," Gonzalez Vigil told AFP.

Those investments are mainly concentrated in the energy and mining sectors. Japan and China have also poured money into those industries.

Peru has always maintained strong ties with Japan, in large part due to the influx of Japanese immigrants starting in 1899. There are now about 80,000 Peruvians of Japanese descent.

That is just a fraction of the country's total population of 28 million, but the community has been remarkably influential, with the high point coming when Alberto Fujimori ruled from 1990 to 2000.

Humala, a former leftist army officer, has so far made official visits to the United States and Spain since taking office. He also attended the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

He took part in the last Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Hawaii, backing the creation of a Pacific-wide trade pact known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership championed by US President Barack Obama.

Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam have so far signed up to take part in negotiations toward the deal.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • US ambassador recovers from knife attack praised by N. Korea
    US ambassador recovers from knife attack praised by N. Korea

    The US ambassador to South Korea, Mark Lippert, was recovering from surgery Thursday after having his face and arm slashed by a knife-wielding activist in an attack applauded by North Korean state media. The United States condemned the "act of violence" which saw the ambassador rushed to hospital where his condition was described as stable after two-and-a-half hours of surgery that included 80 stitches to a deep gash on his right cheek. During the assault, Kim screamed a slogan in favour of …

  • New Moro rebel group emerges
    New Moro rebel group emerges

    A radical Muslim cleric trained in the Middle East and considered one of the leaders of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) has broken away from the terror group to form his own band of jihadists who are now reportedly providing sanctuary to bomb expert Basit Usman and at least five foreign militants, the military said yesterday. Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman Col. Restituto Padilla, citing reports from the field, said the Justice for Islamic Movement (JIM) was …

  • Sy moves up, Villar enters Forbes list of billionaires
    Sy moves up, Villar enters Forbes list of billionaires

    Eleven Filipinos are included in Forbes’ 2015 list of richest people in the world. Filipino-Chinese tycoon Henry Sy Sr. continues to be the wealthiest man in the Philippines. The 90-year-old SM supermalls, banking and property tycoon ranked 73rd among the world’s richest with an increased net worth of $14.2 billion from $11.4 billion last year. Sy’s net worth was attributed to the continued growth of his SM Investments Corp. and his more recent venture, the City of Dreams Manila resort and …

  • Billionaire finds wreck of WWII ship in Phl
    Billionaire finds wreck of WWII ship in Phl

    Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen says he has found the Japanese Navy’s biggest warship at the bottom of the sea in the Philippines, 70 years after US forces sank it. Allen posted a photo on Twitter on Tuesday of the World War II battleship Musashi’s rusty bow, which bore the Japanese empire’s Chrysanthemum seal. The American billionaire, who has also pursued space exploration, said his luxury yacht and exploration ship, the M/Y Octopus, found the Musashi one kilometer (1.6 miles) deep on the …

  • US billionaire says WWII Japanese ship found in Philippines
    US billionaire says WWII Japanese ship found in Philippines

    Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen said Wednesday he had found one of Japan's biggest and most famous battleships on a Philippine seabed, some 70 years after American forces sank it during World War II. Excited historians likened the discovery, if verified, to finding the Titanic, as they hailed the American billionaire for his high-tech mission that apparently succeeded after so many failed search attempts by others. Allen posted photos and video online of parts of what he said was the …

  • World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too
    World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too

    TOKYO (AP) — The world's oldest person says 117 years doesn't seem like such a long time. …

  • Ohio mom, boyfriend guilty; child emailed teacher for help

    PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (AP) — A woman and her boyfriend pleaded guilty to raping her young children and were sentenced to prison on Wednesday, a year after one of her daughters emailed a teacher for help and said she and her siblings were being chained to their beds, deprived of food and sexually assaulted. …

  • Australian drug smugglers being taken to Indonesian island for execution - media
    Australian drug smugglers being taken to Indonesian island for execution - media

    By Jane Wardell and Beawiharta SYDNEY/DENPASAR, Indonesia (Reuters) - Two convicted Australian drug smugglers were removed from a prison in Bali on Wednesday to be taken to an Indonesian island where they will be shot by firing squad, Australian media reported. The planned executions of Myuran Sukumaran, 33, and Andrew Chan, 31, have ratcheted up diplomatic tensions amid repeated pleas of mercy for the pair from Australia and thrown a spotlight on Indonesia's increasing use of the death …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options