Mérida, 8th January 2012 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuela and Peru entered a new period of closer bilateral cooperation with the signing of ten accords yesterday in the areas of social development, energy and commerce, and the announcement of the entrance of state owned Peruvian oil company PetroPerú as a partner in the exploitation of Venezuela’s oil.
The agreements were signed between Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Peruvian President Ollanta Humala, in the context of Humala’s first official visit to Venezuela as Peruvian head of state.
The Cooperation Agreement in Social Affairs commits the two countries to cooperate “in the fight against poverty, malnutrition, social exclusion, and to boost policies protecting vulnerable groups,” while ensuring access to quality health and education services. A separate agreement on education promotes increased scholarships and educational exchanges between the two South American nations.
“The work we want to do is increase brotherhood between the Venezuelan and Peruvian peoples toward the same end, which is the progress of Latin America and the strengthening of Unasur [the Union of South America Nations],” declared Humala upon his arrival in Venezuela.
An accord was signed between the energy ministries of both governments with the intention of developing joint energy projects and “a wide and sustained integration in the hydrocarbons and petrochemical industries”.
Commercial exchange and cooperation were also given a boost with the signing of three commercial agreements, including providing mutually favourable import tariffs for domestically produced products and encouraging the increased sale of Venezuelan tractors and agricultural equipment in Peru.
The agreements mark closer bilateral relations between Venezuela and Peru after the centre-left Ollanta Humala was elected president in April last year. Relations with Venezuela were distanced during the previous presidency of conservative Alan Garcia, Correo del Orinoco reports.
“I’m very happy today because before we couldn’t advance in almost anything with Peru…[now] Venezuela and Peru have begun an energy, technology and social relationship,” stated Chavez.
The Venezuelan president also echoed Humala’s emphasis on the importance of bilateral cooperation for wider South American unity, adding, “In the framework of unity, the South American project must emerge…a great bloc, only with that can our republics insert themselves into the global dynamic”.
Accords were also signed to facilitate migratory flows, and cooperate in the anticipation and humanitarian response to natural disasters.
PetroPerú Enters the Orinoco Oil Belt
The Venezuelan president also announced that Peruvian state oil company PetroPerú would begin joint oil exploitation and production with its Venezuelan counterpart PDVSA in Venezuela’s Orinoco Oil Belt, which contains the world’s largest proven reserves of crude oil.
Humala expressed his satisfaction with the move, stating, “We’re sure that this development [cooperation between Peru and Venezuela’s state oil companies] will improve quality of life”.
The presidents also confirmed that a meeting would take place soon in Peru with the participation of PDVSA and Pequiven, Venezuela’s state petrochemical company, to develop the new agreements.