H E Tomás Berrocal, Counselor at the Peruvian Foreign Service and acting Head of Mission of the Embassy of Peru in Kuwait.

By Reaven D’Souza
Managing Editor

H E Tomas Berrcoal, the acting head of the Peruvian Embassy in Kuwait is a soft spoken and exceptionally polite diplomat who is focussed on his priorities. In a wide ranging interview H E Berrocoal spoke about various topics related to bilateral relations, strengthening existing ties, and cooperation and coordination on the international stage between Kuwait and Peru.

Counselor Berrocal began by noting that his interest in international relations led him to study diplomacy at the Peruvian Diplomatic Academy, and learn Law at Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos. “I started my work here in Kuwait in March 2021, and I am very pleased to work in this very beautiful country, which has welcomed my family and me in the best possible ways. I would like to highlight that the Kuwaiti authorities have always been very kind with me, and with my beloved ones. In particular, the officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait have always been available for any coordination or contact that has been necessary to facilitate my tasks for the benefit of the Peruvian – Kuwaiti relationship.

Pointing out that on 28 July of this year Peru will be commemorating 201 years since its independence in 1821, the envoy noted, “Last year, we celebrated the Bicentennial of our Independence, and the birth of the Republic of Peru as a sovereign State. Peru aims to create prosperity, progress, and welfare for its people; in fact, the human person, its protection and respect for individual dignity are the supreme goals of the Peruvian State, and society.

“Peru is also a multicultural and multi-ethnic country that promotes its national interests in the world arena. We are open to the world and the future. Our history has not been easy: we have faced challenges, good and tough times during our life as an independent state. However, it has been the joint efforts of all Peruvians and friends of Peru which has made my country succeed in reaching the aforementioned objectives.

“On the occasion of the 201st anniversary of the Independence of Peru, I would like to avail of this opportunity to convey my warmest congratulation to all Peruvians residing in Kuwait, and to our friends from Kuwait, and other nations.”

Elaborating on bilateral relations between Perú and Kuwait, Mr. Berrocal said, “ The Government of Peru has a true interest in strengthening and further broadening its friendly bilateral relations with Kuwait, through cooperation, investment, touristic promotion and trade. The friendly relations between the two countries are deep and date back in time. The Embassy of Peru in Kuwait was established in 2011, with H.E. Amador Velásquez being the first Head of the Peruvian diplomatic mission. Our countries, Peru and Kuwait, enjoy prestigious international positions, and they are both friendly nations aimed at success at all levels.

“For instance, both countries have worked together in the United Nations Organization, in the Security Council. We wish to continue working jointly to reach many achievements together, for Peru and Kuwait are friendly nations that share many common interests. The two countries seek to ensure a better future for our citizens, and to work for the sake of our future generations.

“It is our profound wish to further strengthen these relations between the two countries in all fields, in particular, in the areas of cultural interchanges, investment, trade, touristic promotion, and bilateral cooperation. I am sure that our countries will have a bright future and we can work together for a better future for our nations and peoples.”

Turning to trade ties between Peru and Kuwait, the envoy remarked, “Bilateral trade relations are very important. There are plenty of products that can be exported from Peru to Kuwait. For instance, we have the alpaca fiber, which is considered one of the finest in the world. We also have the pima cotton fiber which is very good, very useful for manufacturing pieces of clothing. The Embassy of Peru expects to introduce alpaca, and pima cotton in Kuwait, due to its remarkable qualities

“Peru is also very efficient in fisheries. We can export processed fish, as well as canned or frozen meat. We also have quinoa, a super cereal, which is very nutritious in terms of protein content and very healthy. It is also rich in vitamins and minerals, and has scientifically proven anti-diabetic properties, which we presented a couple of years ago in Kuwait, with cooperation of the Dasman Diabetes Institute.

“Peru is also a world-class producer of potatoes, and citrus fruits such as oranges, lemon, tangerines, and grapefruit. In addition, we also export asparagus, avocados, blueberries, coffee, grapes, mangoes, pineapples, and cacao. In this sense, we have interesting offers for Kuwait, in particular regarding the food security situation, which has been recently raised by the United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres.

“We are also very important producers of silver and gold. We were the third largest producer of silver in the world in 2021. Besides, during the last decade, Peru has always occupied a place among the top-10 producers of gold in the world. We export gold not only as a raw material, but also as processed jewelry. Our jewelry is very beautiful, with traditional and modern designs, and we are available and eager to export it anywhere in the world.

“In this regard, I would like to take this opportunity to express my personal availability to hold meetings with all the Kuwaiti entrepreneurs who would be interested in importing Peruvian products to Kuwait. It is through trade and investment that we will be able to build a better future for our peoples, creating working positions and opportunities.”

Expanding on tourism, which is another area where Peru has been a magnet for international travelers, the envoy pointed out that following the end of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Peru had once again started welcoming tourists. He added, “Since the start of 2021, my country restarted receiving tourists again, and thereafter many travelers from all over the world, including Kuwaiti citizens, have visited different tourist landmarks of Peru.

“The Peruvian Government has been working decisively for guaranteeing health security, through a very important vaccination campaign, and by establishing sanitary measures for preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
Between 2021 and 2022, we received many visa applications here at the Embassy of Peru, and we are working the best we can to provide Kuwaiti citizens and all the friends of the Republic of Peru all the necessary facilities for visiting our country. You are all welcome, and we would like you to enjoy the best of Peru.

“Due to foreign investment during the last years, Peru has an excellent hotel infrastructure. And there are many activities that can be practiced in my country, such as visiting historical places, discovering the ancient Peruvian civilization, mountain-climbing, surfing, safari trips, and a very long etcetera of interesting things that one can do in Peru.

“Anybody who travels to Peru should visit the landmarks of the Ancient Peruvian civilization, such as the city of Cuzco, and Machu Picchu. It would also be advisable to enjoy a time in Lima, the capital of the country, as well as book tours for visiting our beach resorts located in the northern coast of Peru. I would also strongly recommend visiting the Peruvian Amazon, the Andean cities, and the southern provinces of Peru.

“There are a lot of very interesting tourist attractions in Peru, including the Qhapaq Ñan (Inca road system), Choquequirao, the Nazca Lines, the Colca Canyon, Puno and Lake Titicaca, Kuelap, Gocta and other places. In these places, the beautiful nature, the ancient Peruvian civilization and pure energy combine in a very impressive way.

While detailing on the tourism venues of Peru, Mr. Berrocal also noted that Peru has a long and illustrious Arabic culture and tradition. “Peru is a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic society, and our culture has been definitely enriched by the traditions that came from all over the world. Our society is originally a beautiful mix of native and Hispanic traditions. But along our history, we have received migrants from Europe, South-Eastern Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and the Arab world, which have importantly contributed to our heritage. In this sense, Perú has an active and very important community of Arab descent, with the majority of its members speaking Arabic.

“The Muslim community in Peru enjoys complete freedom to practice their religious rituals. Moreover, there are mosques in many locations of Peru, where Muslims perform their rituals freely and continuously, celebrate their holidays, as Ramadan, or the Eid Al-Adha, and preserve their traditions. We fully respect the freedoms of religion and culture, and profoundly appreciate the cultural traditions that have contributed to our national identity, as a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic country.”

In concluding the interview, Counselor Berrocal added, “We, the Peruvian people, warmly welcome all those interested in visiting Peru. Come and visit our country, enjoy the best of Peru. Our country is a mixture of the coast, mountains and forests, which makes Peru an attractive touristic destination. We also offer plenty of opportunities for trade, investment and development.

“On the occasion of the 201st anniversary of the Independence of Peru, we renew our deep commitment for promoting and broadening the bilateral relations with the friendly State of Kuwait. We wish progress and success to Kuwait, under its wise leadership. Kuwait’s wealth is not solely on account of its oil, it also has highly talented youngsters who guarantee a brilliant future for the country.

Taking the opportunity of this interview, I would also like to congratulate the State of Kuwait, the Leadership, the Government and the Kuwaiti people on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha, which was recently celebrated.

I also thank The Times Kuwait, for this interesting interview which has given us the opportunity to bring Peru and Kuwait closer, because we can work together, with renewed efforts, aiming at success and progress for our peoples.

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