The first meeting of the bilateral Political Consultation Mechanism between Peru and the United Kingdom took place on 28 November in Lima. This was a key outcome from the historic visit of the former Foreign Secretary in May this year and underlined the historic but dynamic and expanding relationship the countries enjoy. The meeting was chaired by Ambassador Cristina Ronquillo, Director General of Europe of the Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ms. Kara Owen, Director of the Americas, of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
The two countries agreed to maintain the exchange of high-level visits and strengthen further cooperation across the full spectrum of the relationship, including in trade and investment, anti-corruption, science and technology, media freedom, security and defence, environment, the fight against organised crime, and women and girls’ education.
Both parties noted that the UK is one of the largest foreign investors in the country. In this context, they discussed ways to significantly boost bilateral trade and tourism, noting the importance of concluding a double taxation agreement between Peru and the UK, and agreed to initiate this process in 2019.
Both sides welcomed progress in the negotiations of an agreement that guarantees the continuity of the bilateral trade relationship after the exit of the UK from the European Union. The UK confirmed its interest in the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership Treaty (CPTPP). The two parties also highlighted joint work on green finance that has had a significant impact: six months after the launch of a UK-funded Green Bonds Guide, the Lima Stock Exchange emitted its first green bond (US$30mn).
The two countries reiterated their commitment to tackle corruption and the UK expressed its wish to help strengthen the newly created Secretariat of Public Integrity in Peru’s Council of Ministers. The countries will also continue to work on increasing cooperation with Peruvian police and the judiciary to fight serious organised crime. They also agreed to expand bilateral collaboration on science and innovation issues, including the possible expansion of the joint Newton-Paulet Fund, co-financed by CONCYTEC and the Newton Fund, which has been supporting research for sustainable development in Peru, with a contribution of US$13mn from each country (US$26mn in total).
Peru expressed appreciation of the UK’s support for the Peruvian candidacy to the OECD. Likewise, both countries stressed the importance of having established the Joint Peru-UK Task Force on Infrastructure in September, for which £500,000 of financial support have been allocated by the UK to help create Peru’s first National Infrastructure Plan, as well as the Government to Government agreement to help Peru deliver the Lima 2019 Pan-American and Para PanAmerican Games.
The UK and Peru are committed to work together in the promotion and defence of human rights, especially gender issues, the fight against modern slavery, human trafficking and violence against women. The parties agreed to identify joint projects in these areas, including through multilateral fora.
On defence and international security, Peru and the UK reiterated their shared values. Within the framework of the Un Security Council, the two countries agreed to continue working together to solve the main threats to international peace and security, in a spirit of securing lasting peace.
Finally, they agreed to work together on activities linked to the celebrations of the Bicentenary of the Independence of Peru, and to explore the creation of a national day to celebrate the anniversary of a diplomatic relationship that continues to grow after more than 180 years.