PRIME MINISTER: This is a great outcome, it is a great Free Trade Agreement, it underlines the commitment that President Kuczynski and I, and our governments have to free trade and open markets.
We know that is what delivers more investment, more entrepreneurship, more jobs, is what is driving, what we need to drive the global economy further to deliver greater opportunities for our peoples.
Now already there are 90 Australian companies operating in Peru, $5billion of investment. This agreement will create exciting new opportunities for both our countries. Our businesses, farmers and families will enjoy tangible benefits; more jobs, higher wages, better incomes, more affordable products.
Peru is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, as befits a nation led by one of the world’s leading economists, so it’s quite appropriate, with an average annual GDP growth of 5.9 per cent over the last ten years. It’s got an economy worth around annually $189 billion and a population of 31 million.
We have a lot in common, we’re two of the few countries to experience uninterrupted economic growth for over a decade - 17 years for Peru, 26 for Australia. And as I said at the outset we have a shared commitment to free trade and open markets.
We know that protectionism is not the solution to getting out of the low growth trap, which some people have argued around the world. Protectionism is actually like digging a hole and keep on digging it deeper and deeper, it’s self-defeating.
We’ve learnt the lessons of history - all of us should have, we know that this is an indication of the opportunities we can deliver through free trade, just as we’re working together on the TPP 11, which of course, you remember Mr President we started discussing at APEC in Peru.