LIMA — China’s current investment of $22.7 billion in Peru has boosted the Latin American country’s gross domestic product (GDP), Peruvian Prime Minister Pedro Cateriano said.
“Chinese investment in Peru has considerably increased our mining production,” Cateriano said in a recent interview with Xinhua, citing the Las Bambas and Toromocho copper mine projects as two examples.
“The Las Bambas copper mine, which may be one of the largest such projects in the world, has seen an investment of over $10 billion. The Toromocho project has also seen much success, with an announced expansion costing $1.5 billion,” said Cateriano.
“This has made China the foremost investor in our mining sector,” said Cateriano.
Besides the two cooper mine projects, a Chinese company is currently exploiting iron deposits in Peru’s coastal region of Ica. Mining has become an important pillar of China-Peru trade, which reached $15.5 billion in 2015, despite the international financial crisis.
Bilateral ties between China and Peru are going very well, said Cateriano, adding that a joint commission by the two countries to examine a number of matters is progressing apace.
The exchange of visits by leaders of the two countries have contributed to bilateral relations, “leading to the creation of a mechanism of permanent dialogue to evaluate political, diplomatic, economic and cultural matters,” he said.
Cateriano emphasized that China has “not only benefited Peru but all of Latin America. The Chinese economy is so strong that it has an affect on the entire world.”
“In my experience as Defense Minister and now as Prime Minister, I have seen (cooperation in) the areas of politics, diplomacy, economy, trade and culture all make significant progress,” he said.
“Peru must be grateful for the role that China plays in the economic sphere. However, it is true that some fear a slowdown in China’s economy will have a negative impact on all sides,” he added.
In terms of future progress, the prime minister said that “there are other fields where I would like to see improved cooperation, such as in the transfer of technology,” said Cateriano.
“We have progressed greatly in this area in recent years but I would like China to not just sell us equipment but manufacture them jointly in Peru,” he said.
On the upcoming summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, which is to take place in Lima in November, Cateriano said that “the government of President Humala has paid great attention to the importance of APEC and our policies have followed the priorities set within the bloc.”
“Our administration will end its mandate on July 28 and we are seeking to ensure this international meeting will be successful, which most Peruvians also want,” the prime minister said.