In July, this year, The Hon Steven Ciobo, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, will be going to Lima, Peru for first round negotiations in hopes to acquire a Peru-Australia Free Trade Agreement.
As Ciobo pointed in his statement on Wednesday, Peru is one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America with an average GDP growth in the last decade on 5.9%, and Australia's two-way trade with Peru has grown exponentially over the last few years to a worth of $504 million.
Currently, the United States, European Union, Canada and China have free trade agreements to give them preferential access to the Peruvian market. Whereas Australia's exports to Peru are being subjected with high tariffs of up to 29 per cent applied (and 68 per cent bound). Australia's sugar and diary exports are being hit the hardest with the 29% tariff applied to them, meanwhile beef exports and other meat exports are being penalised up to 17%.
Australia's top export to Peru is actually Mining equipment, presently contributing $54 million to the economy, which has experienced considerable growth in the last few years, along with the finance, education, health and tourism sectors.
"Peru presents a growing opportunity for Australian exporters that this FTA will help unlock," Ciobo said.