Key takeaways from Peru’s President Dina Boluarte’s China visit 

By July 4, 2024

Lima, Peru — Peru’s President Dina Boluarte traveled to China from June 23 to 28, marking her first trip abroad in seven months. 

During her state visit, she met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping as well as executives from some of the country’s largest companies, including Huawei, BYD and Cosco Shipping, which will be opening a high-capacity port terminal just north of Lima in the coming months. 

The port is tipped to become China’s first logistics stronghold in Latin America. Just before her visit, Peru’s transportation ministry withdrew a request to revoke Cosco’s exclusive operating rights to the port, decreasing tensions between the two countries ahead of bilateral meetings. 

Upon her return to Peru on July 1st, Boluarte was criticized by local press for continuing her silent streak, having not formally addressed the news media in over 90 days. 

Here are some takeaways from Boluarte’s China visit: 

Meeting executives of major Chinese companies

On June 26, the president presided over the signing of an agreement between Peru’s Foreign Ministry and Chinese telecom giant Huawei to train 20,000 Peruvian professionals in information technologies, focusing on artificial intelligence. 

The ceremony took place at Huawei’s headquarters in Shenzhen, and was also attended by Peru’s Foreign Minister Javier González-Olaechea and Huawei Technologies President Liang Hua.

Boluarte also met with Wang Chuanfu, CEO of car manufacturer BYD, who showed interest in implementing the company’s Yunba smart rail transport technology in Peru. 

The autonomous, electric, three-dimensional transportation system aims to reduce urban congestion and pollution. 

BYD’s electric vehicles are sold in countries across Latin America, and the company recently inaugurated its first monorail train system sold overseas to Brazil. 

Earlier this year, Peru opened the first section of Lima’s Metro Linea 2 (Line 2) which was constructed by Spanish firms FCC and Iridium Concesiones de Infraestructuras.

President promotes Peru’s mining potential 

During her trio, President Boluarte also highlighted the great potential of Peru’s mining sector during a conference in Shanghai titled “Investment Opportunities in Peru.” 

She said that the country is focused on rapid economic reactivation, prioritizing attracting investments and improving living conditions.

Peru’s economy has been on a bit of an upswing, expanding 4% in April and May, following stagnated growth for the past two and a half years. 

Boluarte also emphasized the country’s mineral wealth, which includes eight of the 17 critical minerals, and noted that only 1.51% of Peru’s territory has been explored for mining activities.

“I invite you to invest in Peru and be part of our development,” she said. “Each one of you, gentlemen entrepreneurs, gentlemen investors, will be warmly welcomed and treated, as we often say in our beloved homeland, with the usual affection. Welcome to Peru, the land of the Incas.”

Boluarte’s meetings with highest Chinese authorities

Boluarte’s last day of official activities took place in China’s capital Beijing on June 28. 

The president held important meetings with the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (Legislative Branch), the Premier of the State Council (Executive Branch), and President Xi Jinping.

Xi and Boluarte signed agreements to strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries. In Boluarte’s words, these agreements “establish key protocols for the export of agricultural products such as grapes and donkey meat, as well as a memorandum of understanding for a Joint Action Plan 2024-2029.”

Additional agreements were signed to boost cooperation in the digital economy, trade, consumer protection, media, and science, technology, and innovation, underscoring both nations’ commitment to growth and mutual collaboration.

The milestone represents a significant advance in bilateral relations, promoting economic integration and cooperation in various key sectors between Peru and China, and caps years of increased economic investment from China into the Latin American country. 

Martin Cassinelli, program assistant at the Atlantic Council, a think tank, writes that the United States “should be concerned” with the tightening relationship between Lima and Beijing, adding that U.S. foreign direct investment in Peru is about one-third that of China’s.

The China-Peru relationship

China is Peru’s main trading partner globally due to several key factors. 

First, Chinese demand for natural resources such as copper, zinc, and minerals abundant in Peru has driven Peruvian exports. Second, Chinese investments in infrastructure and energy have been significant, promoting economic development and creating jobs in Peru. 

Additionally, China is an important market for Peruvian products such as coffee, textiles, and fishery products.

According to data from ComexPerú, a business association that groups major exporting, importing, and service-providing companies, trade between Peru and China reached about $37 billion in 2023 and is on the rise, considering it was $10.5 billion in 2010.