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Friday, May 30, 2008

Peru signs free trade deals with Canada and Singapore

LIMA, Peru - Peru has signed free trade deals with Canada and Singapore as part of its push for such trade pacts - despite opposition from other Andean nations.

President Alan Garcia said at a ceremony at the presidential palace Thursday that he wants Peru to be Latin America's gateway for Asian trade.

Peru also wants trade agreements with other countries, including China and European nations, Garcia said.

Chile is the only other Latin American country with a free trade deal with China.

Peru's pursuit of its own trade accords has irritated some of its partners in the Andean Community regional trade group.

Leftist Bolivia and Ecuador are more wary of free trade deals with developed nations.

Last week, Peru petitioned the Andean Community to allow each member country to make its own intellectual property laws.

Peru needs tighter patent and trademark standards to comply with a free trade deal that was approved by U.S. Congress late last year.

Ecuador and Bolivia voted against Peru's request.

© The Canadian Press, 2008



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