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POLICY REVIEWS: SECOND PRESS RELEASE AND
The Trade Policy Review Body of the World Trade Organization (WTO) concluded its second review of Peru's trade policies on 30 and 31 May 2000. The text of the Chairperson's concluding remarks is attached as a summary of the salient points which emerged during the discussion.
TRADE POLICY REVIEW BODY: REVIEW OF PERU
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The review enables the TPRB to conduct a collective examination of the full range of trade policies and practices of each WTO member countries at regular periodic intervals to monitor significant trends and developments which may have an impact on the global trading system.
The review is based on two reports which are prepared respectively by the WTO Secretariat and the government under review and which cover all aspects of the country's trade policies, including its domestic laws and regulations, the institutional framework, bilateral, regional and other preferential agreements, the wider economic needs and the external environment. A record of the discussion and the Chairperson's summing-up together with these two reports will be published in due course at the complete trade policy review of Peru and will be available from the WTO Secretariat, Centre William Rappard, 154 rue de Lausanne, 1211 Geneva 21.
Since December 1989, the following reports have been completed: Argentina (1992 and 1999), Australia (1989, 1994 and 1998), Austria (1992), Bahrain (2000) Bangladesh (1992 and 2000), Benin (1997), Bolivia (1993 and 1999), Botswana (1998), Brazil (1992, 1996 and 2000), Burkina Faso (1998), Cameroon (1995), Canada (1990, 1992, 1994, 1996 and 1998), Chile (1991 and 1997), Colombia (1990 and 1996), Costa Rica (1995), C˘te dIvoire (1995), Cyprus (1997), the Czech Republic (1996), the Dominican Republic (1996), Egypt (1992 and 1999), El Salvador (1996), the European Communities (1991, 1993, 1995, 1997 and 2.000), Fiji (1997), Finland (1992), Ghana (1992), Guinea (1999), Hong Kong (1990, 1994 and 1998), Hungary (1991 and 1998), Iceland (1994 and 2000), India (1993 and 1998), Indonesia (1991, 1994 and 1998), Israel (1994 and 1999), Jamaica (1998), Japan (1990, 1992, 1995 and 1998), Kenya (1993 and 2000), Korea, Rep. of (1992, 1996 and 2000), Lesotho (1998), Macau (1994), Malaysia (1993 and 1997), Mali (1998), Mauritius (1995), Mexico (1993 and 1997), Morocco (1989 and 1996), New Zealand (1990 and 1996), Namibia (1998), Nicaragua (1999), Nigeria (1991 and 1998), Norway (1991, 1996 and 2000), Pakistan (1995), Papua New Guinea (1999), Paraguay (1997), Peru (1994 and 2000), the Philippines (1993), Poland (1993 and 2000), Romania (1992 and 1999), Senegal (1994), Singapore (1992, 1996 and 2000), Slovak Republic (1995), the Solomon Islands (1998), South Africa (1993 and 1998), Sri Lanka(1995), Swaziland (1998), Sweden (1990 and 1994), Switzerland (1991 and 1996), Tanzania (2000), Thailand (1991, 1995 and 1999), Togo (1999), Trinidad and Tobago (1998), Tunisia (1994), Turkey (1994 and 1998), the United States (1989, 1992, 1994, 1996 and 1999), Uganda (1995), Uruguay (1992 and 1998), Venezuela (1996), Zambia (1996) and Zimbabwe (1994).
We have had very open and constructive discussions. Members commended Peru for the consolidation of its economic stabilization and liberalization programme implemented since the early 1990s. Despite external shocks, including El Ni˝o and international financial crises, Peru has achieved significant growth, sharply reduced inflation and attracted considerable foreign capital. No doubt major factors in this performance have been sound macroeconomic policies, continued liberalization of Peru's trade and investment regimes, the privatization process and efforts to develop a reliable regulatory framework.
Members viewed Peru's trade and investment regimes as relatively open. They noted that the average applied tariff has been reduced since the previous Review and that the use of non-tariff barriers remained confined. The liberalization of investment rules and the establishment of a favourable legal framework for the promotion and protection of investment have had impressive results, with foreign direct investment increasing five fold since 1993. Members welcomed Peru's strong commitment to the multilateral trading system. In particular they noted Peru's full implementation of the Agreement on Customs Valuation in April 2000. They also welcomed Peru's efforts to liberalize services activities, in particular the financial and telecommunication sectors.
Against this positive assessment, Members raised some concerns. Members noted that the application of tariff surcharges and variable specific duties on several agricultural products acted as a disincentive to trade. Members also invited Peru to consider undertaking new multilateral engagements to close the wide gap between applied and bound tariff rates. Some urged Peru to sign the plurilateral Agreement on Government Procurement. In relation with the latter, Members noted that despite the recent adoption of a new legal framework, some provisions departed from the national treatment principle.
Peru provided orally and in writing detailed clarifications on a number of additional features of its trade and investment regime,including:
Members appreciated the clarifications and responses provided by the delegation of Peru.
In conclusion, it is my feeling that this has been a very successful second Review of Peru's trade policies. Economic reform has paid off in the form of growing GDP, trade and investment. Nevertheless, this has only been sufficient to bring real GDP per capita back to its relatively modest level of the mid 1960s. I believe that the view of several Members that there is need to achieve further improvements in the quality of life of the Peruvian people deserves Peru's attention. I am pleased to note that this has met with concurrence from the Peruvian delegation. It was to this end and to secure the flexibility necessary to withstand and ride out future external shocks that led Members to encourage Peru to press on with its domestic reform process including further trade liberalization. As Peru pursues such policies, I hope that other Members will be able to support Peru's efforts by extending open access for its exports.