Global instability and the trade war between China and the United States are worrying around the world. "The commercial friction with China is one of the unequivocal signs of our times and is affecting the growth of the global economy," the Foreign Minister recalled on Friday. Republic of Peru, Néstor Popolizio, in the forum held by EL PAÍS, Peru on the global agenda, and sponsored by Telefónica and Ferrovial with the collaboration of Casa de América. The Peruvian politician advocated the defense of free trade against protectionism and argued that the economic opening has been and continues to be the growth engine of the Andean nation, which in recent years has been growing above the average rates in the region. and whose GDP is estimated to have advanced close to 4% in 2018.
Popolizio, who after an introduction in which he reviewed the challenges and opportunities of his country, chatted with the director of EL PAÍS América, Javier Moreno, recalled that the Pacific Alliance, a trade integration agreement signed in 2011 between Peru, Chile, Colombia and Mexico, has been one of the most dynamic free circulation processes that has been consolidated in the area. The next objective, he said, is to look towards the Pacific and add Australia and New Zealand as States associated in the agreement.
But Spain is one of the great commercial allies of the Andean country, the first global investor and the main trading partner in the European Union. "The commercial relationship between Spain and Peru is magnificent," said Popolizio, who during these days, together with Peru's President Martín Vizcarra, met with the King of Spain and the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez. The closeness between the two countries translates into a high presence of Spanish companies in Peru, as well as trade and cooperation agreements. This year, in addition, Peru is the guest country of the Arco contemporary art fair.
Peru, where the middle class has grown to the rhythm of GDP and has shown its muscle in recent years, still has high rates of informality, close to 70%, and large pockets of poverty in certain areas of the country. "This is the challenge that the president faces. We have to work on all aspects of infrastructure, deepen social development programs and support, "said the Peruvian politician. In this line, Peru and Spain have just signed a framework country agreement by which the South American nation will receive aid in cooperation until 2022.
Popolizio has ensured that Peru intends to take advantage of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements even more. In this regard, he assured that his country, which has just emerged from a period of political turmoil, wants to finish negotiating to avoid double taxation and offer more stable economic and legal bases for companies.
"We are facing the beginning of the end of the Maduro dictatorship"
Popolizio, who replaced President Martín Vizcarra in this debate, who had to return urgently to Peru, was confident that the Maduro regime would soon end and once again expressed support for interim president Juan Guaidó. "We believe that this is the beginning of the end of the Maduro dictatorship," he said, and recalled that the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela continues to worsen and that Peru already welcomes 700,000 Venezuelans, 200,000 of them children of school age.
The minister has insisted that the economic sanctions against the leadership of the regime and international pressure to produce a crack in Nicolás Maduro's military support are the way forward so that free elections can be called and democracy returned to Venezuela. "We hope that the transition will be peaceful and that it will be finally made by Venezuelans," he said.