Lima (VNA) – The first meeting of the Peru-Vietnam Inter-Governmental Committee on Economic Issues and Technical Cooperation took place in Lima, Peru, on October 23-24.

The meeting marked a new breakthrough in bilateral cooperation since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1994, said Vietnam Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai, who co-chaired the meeting with Peruvian Deputy Foreign Minister Nestor Popolizio Bardales.

Hai added that the meeting created a premise for Vietnam and Peru to advance their cooperation in economy, trade, investment, agriculture and science-technology.

He reviewed milestones in the bilateral friendship and cooperation, including the exchange of high-ranking delegations, especially the official visit to Peru by President Tran Dai Quang in November 2016.

In 2015, trade value between the two countries exceeded 300 million USD for the first time, of which Vietnam’s export turnover to Peru was over 247 million USD, Hai said. The export-import revenue reached 351.4 million USD in 2016, up 7.4 percent year-on-year.

In the first nine months of this year, the figure stood at 345 million USD, a rise of 37 percent from the same period last year. Of the total, Vietnam’s exports to Peru hit 254 million USD.

Vietnam mainly ships electronics, phones, cement, clinker, garments-textiles, materials for garment-textile sector, leather and footwear, plastic products and rubber to Peru, and imports animal feed, animal skin, ore, zinc, by-products of food processing and meat of different kinds from the country.

In terms of investment, Hai talked about the operation of Vietnam’s military-run telecoms group Viettel and Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) in Peru, expressing his wish that the Peruvian Government will provide more support for Vietnamese businesses.

Deputy FM Bardales said that Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski will pay an official visit to Vietnam in November and attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Week in Vietnam’s central city of Da Nang from November 6-11.

President Kuczynski is scheduled to hold talks with his Vietnamese counterpart Tran Dai Quang to discuss issues of shared concern, he said.

The Deputy FM noted his belief that Vietnam will successfully organise the APEC Week, saying Vietnam’s hosting of the event for the second time has proven the country’s increasing prestige and role in the international arena.

As the host of APEC 2016, Peru is ready to support Vietnam in preparations for the upcoming APEC Week, he pledged.

Bardales also expressed his wish for further cooperation between the Pacific Alliance, which was established in 2011 according to Peru’s initiative, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Deputy Minister Hai said Vietnam will back Peru’s proposals at APEC 2017, including support for small-and medium-sized enterprises to enhance their competitiveness and production efficiency through scientific-technological applications.

On this occasion, the technical groups of Vietnam and Peru discussed the possibility of opening the agricultural product market of the two countries towards easing regulations on food hygiene.

The Peruvian side wants to export grape and blueberry to Vietnam while Vietnam hopes to ship litchi, longan, dragon fruit and seafood to the country.

The two Deputy Ministers then signed the minutes of the first meeting of the Peru-Vietnam Inter-Governmental Committee on Economic Issues and Technical Cooperation.-VNA