Peru, Indonesia to likely start trade talks in December: minister

Peru's Foreign Trade and Tourism Minister Eduardo Ferreyros gives a news conference in Lima, Peru, June 8, 2017. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo

LIMA (Reuters) - Peru and Indonesia will likely start negotiating a free trade deal in December as Lima pursues a “very aggressive” trade agenda following Washington’s withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Peru’s trade minister said on Tuesday.

Peru already has more than 15 free trade deals and this year started negotiations on agreements with Australia and India while preparing to update its accord with China.

Peru is also part of efforts to reduce trade barriers between Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Canada and the Pacific Alliance bloc made up of Peru, Mexico, Chile and Colombia.

“We’re working on a very aggressive trade agenda, which includes probably in December the start of negotiations on a free trade agreement with Indonesia,” Trade Minister Eduardo Ferreyros told a press conference.

Peru was one of 12 nations that signed onto the TPP for the fast-growing Asia-Pacific region. The TPP has been in limbo since U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew the United States in January.

“That hasn’t stopped us. What we’re doing is promoting bilateral agreements,” Ferreyros said.

Peru is part of talks this week in Sydney aimed at salvaging the TPP, which in its current form cannot be implemented without the United States.

Reporting By Teresa Cespedes and Mitra Taj; editing by Grant McCool