On July 28, Peru celebrates a new anniversary of its Independence, which took place in 1821. This year Peru and Romania also commemorate 80 years of establishing diplomatic relations. In fact, His Majesty King Carol I and the President of Peru, had exchanges of letters in 1880 and in 1894, where the mutual desire to develop friendly relations between the two countries was stated. We also know that, in 1863, the first Peruvian vessel carrying merchandise from our country managed to sail in the Danube Delta and dock in its port. Nevertheless, it was 80 years ago, in 1939, that the Peruvian Foreign Minister formally proposed to the Romanian authorities to establish a diplomatic representation in Bucharest. On October 10th, 1939, the Government of Romania gave its agreement and hence Peru appointed its first Chargé d’Affaires to the new Peruvian Legation in Romania.
From the outset, Peru and Romania have worked together to foster their bilateral relations building upon a rich background of a common Latinity. Later on, and especially since recovering democracy, our countries have reached an excellent level of bilateral relations and cooperation by reaffirming their mutual commitment to the enhancement of democratic institutions, the rule of law, the support of human rights, the multilateralism and the international public law. In this regard, the bilateral political dialogue has deepened -as illustrated by regular meetings of the Political Consultation Mechanism taken place alternately in Lima and Bucharest; by a number of cooperation agreements signed in various fields; by the relations between our parliaments, universities and other social and cultural institutions; and in the dynamic of high-level meetings. In this respect, the Foreign Ministers of Peru and Romania are scheduled to meet in Lima, next August, as a signal of their will to renew and enrich the bilateral relations on the occasion of the 80th anniversary. It is worth mentioning that the Romanian Minister will also attend the International Conference for Democracy in Venezuela, organized at the initiative of the Lima Group.
In the context of a complex and uncertain international scenario, Romania and Peru have demonstrated their commitment to contribute to a reinvigorated multilateralism. This current year, Romania held a successful first presidency of the Council of the EU, and Peru is running its second year of membership of the United Nations Security Council, whose rotating presidency it is holding once again, since July 1st.
Peru and Romania also cooperate with a view to advance their economic development and promote business and investment opportunities. Therefore, we continue to actively promote the contacts between our business people and representatives of small and medium size enterprises. Once again, in September 2019, a mission of Peruvian exporters will visit Bucharest and participate in trade rounds on textiles and organic products with Romanian potential trade partners. Likewise, Romanian companies, especially in the fields of energy and transport, have visited Peru last year exploring further business opportunities. The relations between Romania and the Pacific Alliance may also open new economic opportunities. The Pacific Alliance, an integration mechanism made up by Peru, Chile, Colombia and Mexico, accounts for 50% of trade in Latin America and the Caribbean and 41% of direct foreign investment flows received by the region. It has eliminated import duties in 92% of the tariff items; lifted tourist and business visas; created an integrated Latin American stock market (MILA) and a venture capital fund for SMEs, among many other achievements. Romania is one of the 59 Observer States of the Pacific Alliance, actively involved in cooperation with it. In that condition, Romania participated in the Ministerial Meeting with Observer States, in the framework of the XIV Pacific Alliance Summit, held in Lima at the beginning of this month. Joining the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OCDE) is a goal currently pursued by both Peru and Romania, which opens an additional area for cooperation and exchange of best practices in public policies.
Culture continues to be a pillar of our bilateral relations. Last year, Peru participated as guest of honor in the 4th edition of “Película”, the Latin-American Film Festival of Bucharest. During one week, six Peruvian movies, documentaries and short films were screened, alongside musical shows, art exhibitions and gastronomical events with the participation of filmmakers and artists from our country. The Peruvian movie “Retablo” was awarded best film of the festival. We also presented “Caral, Peru, the oldest civilization in the Americas”, to the students of History and Archaeology of the University of Bucharest, while two renowned Peruvian painters had exhibitions at the Instituto Cervantes and at the cultural center Arcub. Peru is also attracting more interest from Romanians as a touristic destination, while the number of Peruvian tourists coming to Romania is also growing. This interest highlights the importance of the rich cultural heritage that our two countries have, which contributes to a better and reciprocal knowledge of our societies.
These 80 years of diplomatic relations have a very positive balance and at the same time they represent the possibility to develop a richer connection between our two nations. On this task, Peru will always be ready to work together with Romania for the enhancement and enrichment of our bilateral relations and the prosperity and wellbeing for our citizens.