Canada and Peru have warm and growing bilateral relations, anchored in Canada’s engagement in the Americas. Canada’s engagement with the Americas is based on a vision of a more prosperous, secure and democratic hemisphere through the three goals of: increasing mutual prosperity; addressing insecurity and advancing freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law; and building lasting relationships across government, business, civil society, academia and communities in the region. Canada considers Peru a strong and constructive regional partner in advancing these goals within the hemisphere.
Our two countries work together closely in regional and multilateral organizations. In the Organization of American States (OAS), Peru is a strong supporter of the Inter-American Democratic Charter (adopted in Lima in 2001); Peru hosted the OAS General Assembly in 2010. Peru has also taken a leadership role in UNASUR, of which it currently holds the pro tempore presidency. Canada and Peru are both members of the Group of Friends of Haiti. Canada and Peru also cooperate on good governance initiatives and on efforts to combat drug trafficking. Canada has long supported key institutions of Peruvian democracy, such as the Office of the Ombudsperson.
Strong relations between Peru and Canada are reflected in increasing bilateral interactions at all levels. Canada and Peru hold annual bilateral political consultations to discuss issues of interest to both countries. Peru regularly welcomes visits by Canadian Members of Parliament and senior officials. Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs), Diane Ablonczy, attended President Humala’s inauguration in July 2011 and visited again in March 2012. Minister of International Trade Ed Fast visited Peru in April 2012 before attending the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia. Prime Minister Harper and President Humala met at the APEC Summit in 2011.
In 2009, the Canada-Peru Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and parallel agreements on labour cooperation and the environment entered into force, enhancing a trade relationship that has grown substantially over the last three years. Since the entry into force of the FTA, Peru has continued to grow as a key market for Canada in the Americas. Two-way merchandise trade in 2010 reached more than $4.2 billion. In 2011, Canadian exports to Peru reached slightly over $522 million and included cereals, machinery, paper and paperboard (mainly newsprint), electrical machinery and vegetables. Canadian merchandise imports from Peru reached $4.453 billion in 2011 and included precious stones and metals (gold and silver), mineral ores (mainly copper, lead and precious metal ores), mineral fuels and oils, coffee, vegetables, and tin.
Peru is Canada’s second largest bilateral trading partner in Latin America and the Caribbean (excluding Mexico), and the third largest destination for Canadian direct investment in South and Central America. Opportunities exist in priority sectors such as mining (gold, silver, copper and base metal projects) and oil & gas (exploration and production, and equipment, technology and services exports), agriculture & agri-food (re the re-opening of the beef market), infrastructure projects (essentially promoting private-public partnership models ) and ICT (health-related products and services). With over 100 publicly listed extractive companies (mining and oil & gas), as well as six additional mines under production, Canada's interest in Peru's extractive sector is significant. To this end, Canada is working closely with Peru to promote corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices, particularly in mining-intensive regions, as well as key hydrocarbons projects.
In addition to its active role in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Peru is a key player in both the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Pacific Alliance, and is favourable to Canadian participation in both. On June 19, all TPP members announced their support for Canada to join the negotiations. Support for Mexico's participation in the TPP also took place during the same week. TPP members must now complete any necessary domestic processes and advise New Zealand, as the TPP depository, of their ability to engage Canada and Mexico in the negotiations. The longest domestic process is a 90-day consultation with the United States Congress, which was initiated on July 10. Once these processes are completed in early October, Canada will formally join the TPP and is expecting to join the next round of negotiations likely to be held in December 2012.
The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has managed a bilateral development program in Peru since 1968. The objective of CIDA’s Peru program is to reduce poverty and inequality in a more democratic and inclusive Peru. In 2009, Peru was identified as one of the 20 countries of focus for Canada’s development assistance. CIDA’s bilateral aid program is ramping up, building on Canada's experience in education and natural resource governance in the extractive sectors. The program reflects CIDA’s Ministerial Priorities of Securing Futures for Children and Youth and Sustainable Economic Growth. The apparent contradiction between persistent poverty and a healthy economy in Peru is in large part explained by the high inequality affecting the country.Canada’s tradition of promoting equal opportunities through public services is of particular interest and relevance, where the main problem is not the absence of wealth but the lack of institutional means to effectively tackle socio-economic inequality. CIDA is looking to support Peru’s efforts, including by sharing successful models when they are relevant to the Peruvian context. On the margins of the APEC summit in 2011, during his first meeting with President Humala, Prime Minister Harper announced a CIDA-funded project to increase capacity in conflict management and prevention in the energy and mining sectors. Both leaders agreed to work together to enhance cooperation in these areas. In April 2012, during the Summit of the Americas, Prime Minister Harper also announced support for sustainable and efficient management of energy resources in Peru.
The Government of Canada encourages the development of new leaders and the strengthening of institutions in Peru, including by providing scholarships through the Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program (ELAP). In addition, Canadian education institutions are increasing their promotion activities in Peru; the first major fair to market education in Canada is taking place in Lima in September 2012.
As a result of the signing of the Canada-Peru Free Trade Agreement, successful democratic elections, a rapidly expanding economy and numerous tourist attractions, Peru continues to attract the attention of an increasing number of Canadians.
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