China-Peru FTA to take effect in mid-January

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The Peru-China Free Trade Agreement will come into force on Jan. 15, slightly earlier than planned, after Peru accelerated the ratification process in hopes of reaping early benefits from the bilateral accord, the Peruvian trade ministry said Monday.

The Peru-China FTA, originally scheduled to take effect on Feb. 1, will now enter into force on Jan. 15, according to the Peruvian ministry.

"Initially we had estimated that the free trade agreement would be effective from the first of February," Peruvian Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism Mercedez Araoz said.

Peru ratified the accord through a supreme decree signed by President Alan Garcia and Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Garcia Belaunde.

"I have talked with the foreign minister... The protocol between China and Peru to propose the date of application of the FTA will be realized this week," President Alan Garcia said.

The president said he hoped the FTA would deliver the order of an additional 800 million U.S. dollars worth of exports and imports in trade with China in the first year of the FTA pact.

China is Peru's second largest trading partner, with two-way trade in 2008 reaching 7.5 billion U.S. dollars, a 2 billion dollars rise over the previous year.

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