President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Saturday (Manila time) expressed his intent to elevate the Philippines’ relations with Peru, as the two nations seek to revitalize their economies post-pandemic.
In his bilateral meeting with Peruvian President Dina Boluarte on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco, California, Marcos said he believes it is time for the two countries to pursue and encourage even stronger ties, considering their common colonial history.
“I find that this is important in this time, in our history, because of the importance of alliances and the partnerships that we forge in this time as we are trying to recover, to transform the economies after the pandemic, and in the face of the many geopolitical shocks that both our countries are feeling,” he said.
Boluarte agreed and formally invited Marcos to visit Peru to commemorate the 50 years of establishment of formal relations between the two nations and attend the APEC meeting in 2024.
She also urged Marcos to bring Filipino investment to Peru, saying the South American country is “very stable,” with the lowest inflation rate in the region.
“And I would also like to take this opportunity to invite you officially for (an) official State Visit to Peru, to celebrate 50 years of our bilateral ties, and next year it is going to be 50 years. So, we’d be honored if you can pay a state visit to us to commemorate,” Boluarta told Marcos.
“And so, we look forward to welcoming you to Peru with open arms and warm heart to have that brotherly and sisterly treatment between our countries.”
Peru hosted the APEC forum in 2008 and 2016. Its APEC theme for 2024 is “Empower. Include. Grow.”
Establishment of embassies
Boluarte also expressed hope that Marcos would consider opening an embassy in Peru, as she bared her plan to reopen an embassy in Manila.
Peru closed its embassy in Manila in 2003 as part of its austerity program. The Peruvian ambassador in Bangkok covers the Philippines as a non-resident ambassador.
“This will be a very important step in shortening the distance and shortening time in order to continue the ties between the Philippines and Peru,” Boluarte said.
The Philippines and Peru established diplomatic relations on Nov 30, 1974, with the Philippines setting up its embassy in Lima in 1982 while Peru established its mission in Manila in 1980.
As of Sept. 2022, approximately 160 Filipinos are living in Peru, mostly professionals, service and sales workers, missionaries, and students.
Improved trade ties
Boluarte said she also wants trade agencies of both countries to work together to enable Peru to ship such agricultural products as grapes, avocados, and blueberries to the Philippines.
Marcos thanked Boluarte for finding time to hold a bilateral meeting with him despite her “very busy” schedule during the APEC meeting in San Francisco.
“It is important, especially as you are taking over the chairmanship for the next round of conferences,” he said. “Especially, we are looking forward to coming to Lima, to Peru for the APEC but, of course, thank you again for your very kind invitation to come – to be with you to celebrate the 50th anniversary of our relations – of our formal relations between Peru and the Philippines.”
The Philippines’ main exports to Peru are electronic products, tuna, other manufactures, non-metallic mineral manufactures, and chemicals.
On the other hand, Peru’s major exports to the Philippines include metalliferous ores and metal scraps, non-ferrous metal, feeding stuff for animals, metal products, and articles of apparel and accessories.
Investment areas for promotion to Peru include manufacturing, infrastructure, and energy. (PNA)