* Peru expects Japan lawmakers to ratify agreement in June
* Lima has at least 10 agreements, including China, Mexico
LIMA May 31 Peru and Japan signed an economic
partnership agreement on Tuesday, a final effort by one of
Latin America's most committed free-traders, outgoing President
Alan Garcia, to tap lucrative Asian markets.
Garcia finished the year-long negotiation with officials of
the world's No. 3 economy last November. Peru expects Japan's
parliament to approve the deal in June, though a legislative
backlog due to the March 11 earthquake could delay it until
August, Peru's trade minister said on local radio.
"This is a tremendous opportunity to increase the exports
of agricultural and fishery products as well as textiles and
clothing," Minister Eduardo Ferreyros said.
The agreement will lift tariffs on 99.8 percent of goods in
10 years, excluding some Peruvian meat, sugar and fish
Japanese cars, televisions and cell phones in turn will
have access to Peru's booming economy, which is fueled in large
part by escalating domestic demand.
Peru has more than a dozen trade agreements, including with
the United States and the European Union, and exports to China
increased 33 percent in 2010. Minerals account for 60 percent
of Peru's exports, but the country seeks to diversify into
specialty agricultural and manufactured goods.
Earlier this month, Peru signed trade agreements with
Panama and Costa Rica and has talks ongoing with other Central
American countries as well as the Trans-Pacific Partnership
that includes nine members of the Asia Pacific Economic
(Reporting by Caroline Stauffer and Marco Aquino; Editing by