UPDATE : 2019.7.23 TUE 15:45
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Peru-Korea, a comprehensive strategic partnershipDiscloses Amb. Matute-Mejia at an exclusive interview with The Korea Post media

By Publisher Lee Kyung-sik with Reporters Kim Jung-mi, Kim Sua

Ambassador Daul Matute-Mejia of the Republic of Peru in Seoul said, “The project portfolio promoted in the latest Investment Road Show comprises more than 50 projects with a value that exceeds US$10 billion in investment, in sectors such as mining, energy, sanitation, health, transportation, among others.”

Speaking at a recent exclusive interview with The Korea Post media, publisher 3 English and 2 Korean media for the past 33 years, Ambassador Matute-Mejia stated that mining projects include “Colca” and “Jalaoca”, which offer investment opportunities on exploration activities and that among the interesting project are the improvement of the “Longitudinal de la Sierra” highway and the comprehensive rehabilitation of the “Huancayo-Huancavelica” railway.

Ambassador Daul Matute-Mejia of the Republic of Peru and Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post media (second and third from right) flanked by Interpreter Ms. Song Hyemi on the right and Executive Secretary Ms. Choi KeumJu.

“In addition,” he stated, “there are 3 specialized hospitals which will be built in Lima, Piura and Ancash, where I believe Korean companies have the expertise to bid for this projects.”
Ambassador Matute-Mejia went on to state that there are also opportunities in water and sanitation and that there are projects to build and operate parts of Lima’s potable water works; to implement a wastewater treatment system in the Lake Titicaca basin and a wastewater treatment plant in Puerto Maldonado.
Ambassador Matute-Mejia worked for 10 years in the Washington D.C., New York and in Japan and knows the characteristics of this region, especially the discipline and oriental values. He also has a plenty of experience and studies in financial, trade and regional economic organizations such as APEC.
“One of the most important goals that I want to achieve during my Mission in Korea,” vows Ambassador Matute-Mejia, “is deepening economic relations between Peru and Korea.”
The Peruvian envoys also spoke on a wide range of topics at the interview, which included invitation of Korean companies to invest in Peru, attractive incentives for Korean investors in his country, specific items to import from and export to Korea, desired areas for increased cooperation with Korea, responsible Peruvian government leader in economic affairs, and rest-recuperation attractions in Peru. Excerpts from the interview follow:

Question: Does your country have any plan to invite Korean companies to invest in your country? Many Korean companies are recently seeking new investment destination countries.
Peru is one of the most solid and fastest-growing economies in Latin America. The reasons for this are the interplay of structural reforms undertaken in the past, stable economic policies that consider the prevalence of economic freedom and due protection for investments, a prudent macroeconomic management and a favorable external environment, that allow for continues high growth and low inflation.
However, an infrastructure gap exists, which could hinder Peru´s continued development. Thus, attracting new investors to reduce the infrastructure gap is one of the priorities of the Government and to this end a major infrastructure program was launched. For 2018 - 2020 alone, the Private Investment Promotion Agency of Peru – PROINVERSIÓN is promoting a project portfolio containing more than 50 investment projects with a value in excess of US $ 10 billion.
The Peruvian government is aware that advanced technology is key to improve Peru's infrastructure. This is one of the main reasons for promoting infrastructure projects in Asia, especially in Korea, a most important partner in this region.
For this reason, the Embassy of Peru to Korea and PROINVERSION presented to Korean companies the Road Show “Peru: Investment Opportunities in Infrastructure and Public Services” in May 16th, 2018.
This event consisted in presentations of the investment opportunities in Peru over the coming years and the Peruvian Economic Outlook, as well as bilateral meetings between the PROINVERSION experts and the most important Korean Companies. This was the second event of this kind in 8 months, a clear demonstration of the interest of the Peruvian government in attracting Korean investment.
It is also important to mention that Peru and Korea have a free trade agreement and a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and both countries are members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum.

Ambassador Matute-Mejia (right) introduces the world-famous Machu Picchu in Peru to Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post.

Q: Does your country offer any incentives to the good Korean companies wishing to invest in your country? Please specify such offers.
Peru offers a strong framework for the treatment of foreign investment. This include nondiscriminatory treatment; free movement of capital; antitrust and competition laws; guarantees to Private Property; no restrictions to acquire equity from locals; freedom to access internal and external credit, as well as access to international disputes settlement mechanisms.
In addition, the Peruvian Government guarantees stability of regulations concerning non-discriminatory treatment; stability of income tax regime applicable to dividends; stability to use freely the most favorable exchange rate available in the market; stability of the free availability and remittance of foreign currency, dividends and royalties. Peru has also signed an agreement to avoid double taxation with Korea.

Q: Does your country have any specific items to purchase from, or export to, Korea? Please elaborate because Korean companies now wish to drastically increase their interaction with such companies.
Korea is one of the most important markets for Peruvian exports, especially raw materials. We want to promote further nontraditional products such as coffee, cocoa, mango, organic banana, grapes and hydro biological products and its derivatives, which are already available in the Korean Market. In the near future, the Embassy of Peru expects to complete procedures to bring avocados and blueberries to Korea.
Besides, we want to bring “Peruvian Superfoods”, which are exceptionally tasty and healthy, including fruits, nuts, grains and vegetables. For instance Peruvian growth “Brazil Nuts” help maintain balanced sugar levels and suppresses appetite, assist to protein synthesis and control hypertension. And Peruvian Quinoa, a grain of high nutritional value, has proteins, unsaturated fat acids and minerals and prevents colon cancer.
Concerning imports from Korea, Peru needs engineering products, TICs, machinery, automobile and spare parts, industrial inputs and other equipment.

Llama: A domesticated South American camelid, widely used as a meat and pack animal by Andean cultures since the Pre-Columbian era.

Q: What are the areas where your country wishes to increase cooperation with Korean companies?
Nowadays Peru´s trade is based in the export of raw materials, especially mining products. The real challenge is to produce more value-added goods. In order to create industries in Peru, investment in food processing and petrochemical plants is a priority.
It is also important to increase cooperation in Health and Education. Peru considers that Korea educational system is very advanced. Some Peruvian students are studying in Korea but we would like to increase the number of under graduated and post graduate levels, in order to work jointly with Korean specialist.
Other important cooperation sectors in which Korean Companies have shown an exceptional development are of interest of Peru, such as technologies of information and communication (TICs), housing and water management.

Q: Who is your government minister in charge of international trade and commerce with countries such as Korea? Please elaborate on the minister and provide us with a copy of his/her picture for publication.
The Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism is Mr. Roger Martín Valencia Espinoza, since April 2nd, 2018. Minister Valencia holds a degree in Tourism from the San Antonio Abad University of Cusco and has over thirty years of experience in that sector. In addition, Minister Valencia has promoted innovative tourism initiatives, committed to the development of communities and environmental sustainability.
Currently, he is working hard in promoting trade with our most important economic partners in the world and Korea is one them.

Ambassador Matute-Mejia of Peru (4th from left) poses with the Embassy members and The Korea Post interviewing team. From left: Editor Kim Jung-mi, Second Secretary Kory Del Carpio Rivera of Peru, Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post, (Ambassador Matute-Mejia), President Kim Hyung-dae of The Korea Post, Second Secretary Claudia De Jesus of Peru, and Reporter Kim Sua of The Korea Post.

Q: Many Korean business people wish to have sufficient rest and recuperation. What are the tourist attractions in your country?
The tourist attractions in Peru appeal to visitors from all around the world with a wide range of different interests because of its huge variety of sceneries and climate in its three main geographical and altitudinal regions: coast, mountains and rain forest.
Ten thousand years of history avail Peru´s stance as an important center of development of ancient cultures. The Pre-Incan civilizations and the Incan Empire have left marks that are still visible today in over 5,000 archaeological sites and corresponding artifacts.
One of the most famous attractions in Peru is Machu Picchu, an Inca settlement that is considered as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, built with the wisdom of the ancient Peruvians, in an impressive ecological environment. It is also important to mention the Sacred City of Caral, that represents the origin of Andean culture, and it is the most ancient civilization in the Americas, with historical roots reaching back more than 5,000 years. In addition, Peru has the imposing Fortress of Kuelap, built by the pre-Inca culture Chachapoyas.
The famous Nazca Lines are located in the Ica region. These ancient geoglyphs are made up of interesting figures of different designs on the surface of the desert. The shapes take the form of animals, plants or geometric patterns.
Peru´s geography accounts for its diverse ecological regions, which explain its vast biodiversity, which can be appreciated in its full dimension in many of our tourist destination. In turn this supports an enormous gastronomic wealth, with hundreds of different flavors, aromas, textures and colors. Peruvian gastronomy is currently a melting pot that integrates traditions and uses the best haute cuisine techniques.

Some of the Peruvian artifact items on display at the Embassy of Peru in Seoul. There were many times more such items on display at the Embassy attracting the attention of the visitors.

Q: Please introduce yourself fully as the prospective Korean business leaders might wish to meet with you in person.
My name is Daul Matute-Mejía, ambassador of Peru to Korea since February 2018. During my career as a diplomat, I worked for 10 years in Washington and New York, and also in Japan. I know the characteristics of this region, especially the discipline and oriental values. In addition, I have plenty of experience and studies in financial, trade and regional economic organizations, such as APEC. For instance I was Executive Secretary of PERUPEC, which was in charge of negotiating the entry of Peru to APEC.
One of the most important goals that I want to achieve during my Mission in Korea is deepening economic relations between Peru and Korea. Attracting and diversifying Korean investment in Peru and widening the trade in non-traditional exports are fundamental to this end. In that regard, I´m ready to meet Korean small, medium and big Korean companies interested in working together, to increase our mutual trade and investment.

Q: Please state whatever other important areas of coverage I might have inadvertently left out from the questionnaire.
It is very important to underline the excellent political relation between Peru and this wonderful country. We have chosen to work together for the industrialization with Korea, as a key partner.

Kim Sua  edt@koreapost.com

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