Steven Ciobo, MP and Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment of Australia: Viewpoint

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Steven Ciobo, MP and Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment of Australia

Viewpoint: Steven Ciobo

Peru’s economic transformation over the past two decades, together with its strong economic growth and open trade policies, have been remarkable and have been noticed in Australia. Australia, a dynamic, modern and reliable partner, is keen to be a key partner for Peru across a diverse range of sectors including mining, water, energy, education, agribusiness, tourism, sports and culture.

Mining is the backbone of the commercial relationship between both nations, with the number of Australian companies in Peru growing from 10 in 2003 to around 90 in 2016. Australia’s total investment in Peru sits at around A$5bn ($3.7bn) and Australia is now the fifth largest foreign investor in Peru’s mining sector. An open investment regime, together with a stable government and abundance of natural resources continue to make Peru an attractive investment destination for Australian mining companies. Our companies play a leading role in the extractives industry, with a reputation for being community conscious and environmentally sustainable. Australia’s knowledge and experience is relevant as Peru pursues an efficient and productive mining sector that is also environmentally and socially responsible. In this regard, Australia has already provided expertise to assist the establishment of the Peruvian Mining Centre of Excellence, launched in February 2015, to ensure the sustainable development of the Peruvian extractives sector through the analysis, diffusion and promotion of mining and energy activities.

Australia and Peru are also natural partners when it comes to managing water resources. With similar water resource management challenges, Australia has a strong technical capacity to assist Peru in developing the governance systems, services and technology to manage water usage by its export-oriented sectors, and to ensure all Peruvians have access to potable water and sewerage services. The conclusion of a water management cooperation agreement in 2017 will provide a framework for our ongoing collaboration in this area.

Our two countries also share a commitment to high-quality education in order to drive innovation, bridge skills gaps and increase productivity, safety and efficiency. Australian higher education and other training providers are well-placed to contribute to the development of Peru’s workforce in sectors that are integral to Peru’s economic growth; including mining, engineering, water resource management, agri-food, tourism, environmental studies and English language training. Over 1600 Peruvians studied in Australia in 2015 which was funded by Peru’s postgraduate scholarships programme, PRONABEC. The education cooperation agreement that was signed between our countries aims to further drive growth in student numbers, education policy exchange and research collaboration.

Tourism is also a key sector for us both. Approximately 40,000 Australians visited Peru and around 3600 Peruvians visited Australia in 2015. The conclusion of bilateral agreements on working holiday visas and air services in 2017 should encourage more of our people to travel between the respective countries. There is also scope for increased investment in our tourism sectors.

Australia values its close working relationship with Peru in global and regional fora including APEC, the UN, Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations and the Pacific Alliance. This includes initiatives aimed at further integration of Asia and Latin America.

On a final note, it is important to highlight the potential for strengthening the trade and diplomatic engagement between Australia and Peru. In fact, the outlook for our bilateral relationship is bright. I look forward to Australia partnering with Peru as the country continues its impressive journey of economic development in the years to come.

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An introduction to Peru's history and culture
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Mauricio Macri, President of Argentina: Interview
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