New Delhi, Apr 10 (PTI) Senior officials of India and Peru will hold next round of negotiations for a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) in the South American nation this week to boost two-way commerce between the countries.

“Officials from commerce ministry are there in Peru for the second round of negotiations for the pact,” a government official said.

In an FTA, two countries significantly reduce or eliminate duties on most of the goods traded between them besides relaxing norms and rules to promote trade in services and increase bilateral investments.

With growing uncertainties in its traditional markets, including the US and Europe, India is looking to enhance its engagements with regions like Africa, South America and Central Asia.

Exporters body Federation of India Export Organisations (FIEO) said that Peru holds huge potential for exports.

“The FTA would help boost our exports. India should look at South American market aggressively as Peru is also a member of MERCOSUR (a six Country trade bloc with Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay as its members),” FIEO Director General Ajay Sahai said.

He said that India should also look at increasing investments in these regions.

Peru ranked third amongst export destinations for India in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region during 2015-16.

The bilateral trade between the nations increased to USD 1.77 billion in 2016-17 from USD 1.52 billion in the previous fiscal.

Among the top ten commodities of India’s export to Peru are motor vehicle, cars, products of iron and steel, cotton yarn and fabrics. While the imports include bulk minerals and ores, gold, fertilisers crude and zinc.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.