February 4, 2011 / 6:15 PM / 8 years ago

Peru seeks trade pact with Arab states of Gulf

* Peru top metals, specialty foods exporter

* Peru to expand aggressive trade agenda to Arab states

LIMA, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Peru is pushing for a free-trade agreement with with Arab states of the Persian Gulf as it aggressively expands beyond pacts it has implemented with China and the United States, state-run media said on Friday.

Peruvian trade officials hope to agree on a framework for negotiations at the Summit of South American-Arab countries (ASPA) Feb. 13-16 in Lima.

“The idea is to reach an agreement from this summit with the most important Arab countries that will allow us to evaluate a possible free trade agreement,” Deputy Trade Minister Carlos Posada told local media.

The Persian Gulf is not currently a primary destination for Peruvian exports but high per capita growth in Kuwait, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates make those countries attractive markets for Peru, Posada said.

Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia also belong to the group of six states.

Peru is a top global exporter of minerals and fishmeal and has lately made a push into specialty seafoods, fruits and vegetables — such as asparagus and artichokes.

President Alan Garcia, who will leave office in July, has implemented free trade agreements with the United States and China. Peru has also negotiated trade agreements Japan and South Korea and Thailand, among others. (Reporting by Caroline Stauffer)

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