WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry:
Good afternoon, everybody. I’m delighted to welcome Peruvian Foreign Minister Gonzalo Gutiérrez, and to reaffirm with him and with our friends in Peru our gratitude for the strong relationship, for the cooperation that we are engaged in on many different fronts.
First of all, we are deeply involved in helping to work on growth and development. And since the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement went into effect about six years ago, we’ve actually doubled our trade between our countries. So there’s now about $18 billion of trade and growing, and we’re very appreciative of that.
We also have a great partner in counternarcotics, counterterrorism efforts. Peru has made significant arrests and undertaken important initiatives to stop illicit narcotics trafficking and some of the criminal activity that goes with it.
And finally, we really are looking to Peru for its significant contribution coming up in December, when they host the Conference of the Parties on global climate change. This is a very important meeting which is a lead-on to Paris next year, but it’s a stepping stone. And it will be very important for all of us to use this meeting appropriately to advance the goals so that we can build on it. Without adequate effort in Peru in December, it will be harder to reach an agreement in Paris. So we’re very grateful for Peruvian leadership, and I look forward, hopefully, to participating with you myself. Thank you.Peru Foreign Minister Gonzalo Gutierrez:
Thank you. Thank you very much, John. I’m – I have a great pleasure to be with you here in the State Department. As the Secretary of State mentioned, we are very pleased with the development of the free trade agreement. Indeed, a few days ago we had the fifth anniversary of the agreement. This is working very well. In the many areas that we are trading, our trade balance is increasing year by year.
As the Secretary of State mentioned, for Peru now a very high priority is the 20th Conference of the Parties of the climate change convention. For us, it will be very important that the key role players in the convention like the U.S. could do significant contributions during the conference, meaning real pledges in order to enhance the Green Fund, contributions in terms of national measures to diminish the greenhouses – gases, and of course, a significant draft in order to finish the new convention for Paris next year.
Also, I would like to take the opportunity to express to the Secretary of State the very high interest of Peru in this initiative on education, the 100,000 Strong. We are very much interested to develop our cooperation with the U.S. in order to promote better education for Peruvians in the areas of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, which are areas very important for the development of Peru.