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China, Peru conclude FTA talks
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China and Peru concluded their talks on a free trade agreement (FTA) and upgraded bilateral ties to a strategic partnership in Lima on Wednesday.

Chinese President Hu Jintao and Peruvian President Alan Garcia announced the news after their official talks.

Chinese President Hu Jintao (L) and Peru's President Alan Garcia shake hands at the government palace in Lima, November 19, 2008. Hu Jintao was in Peru to attend the Asia-Pacific Cooperation (APEC) summit.

Hu said the move symbolized that bilateral ties are entering a new era of rapid development.

Since the beginning of this year, China-Peru ties have made new headway. Both countries maintained close political contact, strengthened political mutual trust, expanded trade links and enhanced cultural exchanges, and maintained close consultation and cooperation in international and regional affairs.

On the future of bilateral cooperation, Hu said China and Peru should give full play to each other's advantages in resources, technology, capital and market.

After the conclusion of FTA negotiations, Hu urged the two sides to sign and implement the pact at an early date so as to bring benefits to the two peoples as soon as possible.

More efforts could be made in the mining area and the Chinese side hoped the Peruvian side could facilitate Chinese enterprises seeking to invest in Peru.

Chinese enterprises have mature expertise and rich experience in the construction of ports, roads, telecommunications, electricity network and urban water-supply system and are willing to participate in all these projects in Peru, Hu said.

He also suggested both sides enhance cooperation in hi-tech fields and others like poverty eradication.

Garcia said China is a reliable friend of Peru and Peru supports China's development.

Peru expects more Chinese mining enterprises to invest in Peru and is ready to create sound investment conditions and environment for Chinese corporations, Garcia said.

Also on Wednesday, China and Peru signed 11 cooperative documents in economy, technology, health, customs, poverty relief, finance, mining, agriculture and other areas. Hu and Garcia both attended the signing ceremony.

The two presidents also witnessed the opening of three Confucius Institutes in Peruvian universities.

Hu arrived in Lima from the Cuban capital Havana for a state visit to Peru. During his stay, he will also attend the Economic Leaders' Informal Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

(Xinhua News Agency November 20, 2008)


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