21 Nov 2008

China and Peru agree trade deal

3:07 pm on 21 November 2008

Peru and China have concluded a free-trade agreement during a visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao.

Beijing wants greater access to Latin American raw materials - mainly copper, zinc and iron ore - and lower tariffs on its exports to the region.

Peru is the second Latin American country to complete such a deal with China, after Chile in 2005.

Mr Hu is on the final leg of a tour to Latin America designed to cement China's growing influence in the area.

During an earlier stop by Mr Hu in Cuba, China agreed to send more food and reconstruction aid to the island and pledged to continue buying nickel and sugar from Cuba.

Mr Hu will attend a weekend summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-ooperation forum in Lima.

The State Xinhua news agency reported this month that exports to Latin America grew 52% in the first nine months of 2008, to $US111.5 billion.