LIMA – President-elect Pedro Pablo Kuczynski wants China to help transform Peru into a metals refining hub to boost the Andean country’s key mining exports as prices for them slump, the incoming finance minister said.
Alfredo Thorne told Reuters that some Chinese companies have already signaled interest in partnering in developing new refineries, part of Kuczynski’s plans to boost infrastructure investments to rev up sluggish economic growth.
Kuczynski, a 77-year-old former investment banker and prime minister, plans to discuss the proposal in detail with officials in China on his first trip abroad as Peru’s president after taking office July 28, Thorne said.
“Pedro Pablo is very clear on this. Today we export a lot of rocks with our raw materials and some of those minerals should be refined in Peru,” Thorne said in an interview.
Thorne said Peru could eventually refine copper from the world’s top producer, neighboring Chile. “We have to look at our competitive advantages, look at how to partner with the Chinese to ensure benefits for both countries.”
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