Lima, Dec. 25. (Andina) Switzerland’s investments in Peru currently total US$1 billion and are mainly concentrated in mining, pharmaceutical and food sectors, Swiss Ambassador to Peru Hans Ruedi Bortis affirmed.
“As long as there’s a positive [business] climate with an open market and clear regulations, there’s always potential to increase investments,” he told El Peruano official gazette.
The diplomat also noted Peru and Switzerland’s trade exchange reaches US$3.2 billion: Peruvian exports account for US$3 billion, whereas the remaining US$200 million constitute imports.
“We shouldn’t forget Switzerland is the third biggest importer of Peruvian products, after China and the United States, particularly regarding commodities. Gold ounces account for 90% of Peru’s exports to Switzerland, which are shipped to the four refineries in my country,” he pointed out.
Ruedi Bortis also referred to Peruvian non-traditional exports, highlighting the potential of medicinal plants, avocados, blueberries, among other products.
“It is worth noting Switzerland is a limited market, so having access to such a sophisticated market opens up doors for Peruvian products to other [destinations]. In other words, Switzerland serves as a bridge to gain access to bigger European markets,” he explained.
As for imports, the Ambassador mentioned Peru buys a significant amount of pharmaceutical products, as well as chemical supplies, machinery, watches, cheese and chocolates from the European nation.
“Peru’s open market is both vital and relevant, which is why we have chosen this country to develop our economic cooperation. We do not have a protectionist stance, since we regard open trade to be free and essential for the development of all commercial partners,” he stressed.
Last October, Switzerland ratified Peru’s status as economic cooperation priority partner during both countries’ 2nd Bilateral Economic Consultation Meeting.
Swiss cooperation allocated US$110 million to the Multi-Annual Development Cooperation Program Peru Country Strategy 2013-2016 for natural resources, governability and competitive private sector cooperation projects.
At the event, both delegations agreed on the need to better harness the FTA between Peru and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), of which the Swiss nation is a member.
On the other hand, Peru presented its portfolio of infrastructure and development investment projects.