Ambassador Daul Matute-Mejia of the Republic of Peru in Seoul said, “Yes, the Republic of Peru wants to continue increasing and strengthening her partnership and cooperation with the Republic of Korea.”
Speaking with The Korea Post at an interview at the Embassy of the Peru in the prosperous downtown district of Jung-gu in Seoul on July 21, 2021, Ambassador Matute-Mejia reminded, “Even during the Corona Pandemic period last year, our exports to Korea amounted to US$2.25 billion and imports from Korea to US$4.7 billion.”
Ambassador Matute-Mejia is considered among Koreans as one of the most friendly foreign envoys to Korea. He obviously enjoys his tour of duty in Korea and has even developed a taste for Korean food and beverage.
Ambassador Matutue-Mejia is known to frequently visit genuine Korean restaurants and relish some of the widely known dishes such as Samgyeopsal (pork belly) luncheon, which is a favorite dish for many Koreans, including some gourmet National Assembly members.
Acclimatization with the local culture is considered a very import aspect for diplomats and in this respect Ambassador Matute-Mejia is considered a case of sheer success. “I love Samgyeopsal,” disclosed Ambassador Matutute-Mejia and he looked he meant it.
Ambassador Matutute-Mejia did not hide the fact that the Republic of Peru was a country noted for rich mineral resources.
He said, “Korea's high technology produces eco-friendly car batteries and, despite the three major unfavorable terrains of Peru's jungle, coast, and mountains, a major Korean conglomerate has successfully carried out a large-scale project to supply gas in Peru.”
He said, “For example, we plan to order about 100 security ships to patrol the Peruvian waters in the future. Currently, we have received parts from a Korean company for about six 56m-long watercraft, assembled them in Peru, and completed them.”
“In addition,” he said, “we plan to make custom orders for large ships (ships carrying goods) with a length of 136 meters. All parts and assemblies are from Korea.”
We are also working closely with Korea in the field of aviation.
We imported training aircraft (KT-1 Woongbi Trainer) and we are using them to the fullest as a fighter pilot trainer. He emphasized that cooperation with Korea was very high on the list of cooperation in the Peruvian government.
Currently, four countries, the United States, Argentina, Belgium and Korea, are said to seeking to win the order of the Peru city subway project.
Ambassador Matute-Mejia also said that Peru is ready to provide the best administrative services to Koreans who immigrate to purchase land or open housing business in Peru.
As was briefly mentioned above, Peru is a country with a very rich historical and cultural heritage, including the Inca Civilization, which dominated the vast territories of South America until the early 16th century.
As a country with enormous resources and a major country in Latin America, Peru has achieved exemplary political, economic and social developments in recent years.
Korea and Peru are very friendly countries who have developed cooperative relations since their diplomatic relations were established in 1963. On the international stage, Korea and Peru have worked very closely together as countries with similar positions that share the same views on many key issues.
In particular, as the Free Trade Agreement between the two countries went into effect in August 2011 and the bilateral relationship upgraded to a ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’ in May 2012, the institutional basis for future-oriented cooperation was further strengthened.
The two countries are diversifying the existing cooperation structure centered on government affairs, economic cooperation, and development cooperation (ODA) into practical cooperation covering resources and energy, infrastructure, information and communication and e-government, health, and culture;
Efforts are also being made to realize the three main goals of expanding mutual understanding and exchanges among the people.
There was very important development for Korea and Peru in the direction of promotion of mutually beneficial win-win cooperation.
On Jan. 28 this year, Ambassador Matute-Mejia met with Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-kun of Korea, and discussed ways to promote substantive cooperation between Korea and Peru in diverse areas, including Korean companies’ participation in infrastructure projects based on Peru’s government-to-government contracts and digital cooperation.
According to Korean news reports, the two sides noted with appreciation that Korea and Peru have steadily maintained cooperation based on the spirit of solidarity and cooperation even amid the global spread of COVID-19 and agreed that it is important to continue promoting exchanges and cooperation on the bilateral level and the international stage in preparation for the post-COVID-19 era.
With regard to the Peruvian government’s construction projects for Lima Metro Lines 3 and 4 as well as a central highway and a Santa Rosa overpass, Vice Minister Choi asked for the Peruvian government’s attention and support to the consortium of Korean companies preparing to join the projects.
Vice Minister Choi stressed that Korean companies with outstanding technology and ample experiences would be the optimal partners that would reinforce economic cooperation between the two countries and contribute to the economic development of Peru.
Ambassador Matute-Mejia said that Korean companies with excellent technology have a good reputation in Peru, voicing hope that Korean companies would take part in various projects in Peru and thereby help further expand economic cooperation between the two countries.
Vice Minister Choi, mentioning that transition to digital and non-face-to-face economy is picking up speed, expressed hope that high-level officials of Peru would visit Korea for the “Korea-Latin America Digital Cooperation Forum” to take place in Seoul in March 2021 and have an opportunity to discuss ways to enhance cooperation between the two countries in the digital sector.
Ambassador Matute-Mejia said that the Peruvian government, on its part, is implementing the fourth industrial revolution, building smart cities and carrying out a range of digital projects, adding that the Peruvian government will consider sending a high-level official to the Forum.
Vice Minister Choi extended congratulations to Peru on its 200th anniversary of independence in 2021, voicing hope for a further increase in exchanges and cooperation between the two countries. Ambassador Matute-Mejia asked for the Korean government’s interest in the diverse events that the Peruvian Embassy in Korea is preparing to hold on the occasion of Peru’s 200th anniversary of independence, including “a food culture week.”
The meeting, the first high-level one this year with the Ambassador of a Latin American country who is establishing herself as a partner for mutually beneficial economic cooperation, is seen to have served as an opportunity to discuss ways to reinforce bilateral cooperation in the infrastructure and digital fields.
Ambassador Matute-Mejia discussed a wide range of topics at the interview. Excerpts follow:
Question: Please introduce your country and National Day in detail?
Answer: Peru has historically been a major center in South America. When you think of Peru, you can think of the Inca Empire. The Inca Empire reached its heyday in the 15th century and was so powerful that it reached Colombia to the north, central Chile and northwestern Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, and Amazonia to the south. After fighting against Spain, the Inca Empire fell in 1572.
After going through this historical process, Peru came under the Spanish rule for 300 years. The Spanish government managed Peruvian wines and agricultural products, completely excluding Peruvians. The mestizo is a display of the culture that conquered and looted the Azteca and Incas.
They forcibly mobilized the natives to develop gold and silver mines, and it is a symbolic expression of running farms that grow commodity crops. Indigenous peoples and Spaniards were attached to oppression in various ways.
Europe was also interested in Peru’s independence and helped, and as the independence movement boomed, Politico was also interested in it and began to yearn for freedom.
When José Francisco de San Martín Matorras and Simón Bolívar brought the independence war to South America, Spain's colonial rule over Peru began to shake, and Peru, which remained Spain's only colony in South America until the end, was attacked by independence forces. Peru declared its independence on July 28, 1821. In 1824, the Spanish army was firmly dealt with and Peru attained real independence.
Q: What do you think is the most promising fields for Peru and Korea to promote bilateral economic cooperation?
A: It will be a good joint venture if Korea's high technology and Peru's assembly technology are combined in the aircraft industry.
The Peru government is working on more than 30 infrastructure projects, and it will contact major Korean companies to encourage them to participate in the public bidding by referring to the list of Korean companies kept at the Peruvian Embassy in Korea.
Under Peru's domestic law, Korean companies that offer high technology and reasonable prices will be given the opportunity to participate in Peru's infrastructure projects.
We also expect Korean companies to participate in the fisheries and agriculture sectors in Peru. A growing number of Korean farmers want to buy land in Peru, grow agricultural products such as avocados and bananas, and export their harvested agricultural products to Korea.
As the fourth industrial revolution is under way, we hope that mutual cooperation between Peru and Korea will be activated in smart cities, big data, semiconductors, electronic systems, and medical fields in the future.
The Peruvian government's steady economic revitalization policy has reduced the poverty rate of Peruvians from 55 percent in 2000 to 18 percent in recent years.
Q: Korean people. Especially the up-and-coming Korean businessmen need rest and recuperation. What are your tourist attractions, including culture and food?
A: Peru's ancient culture can be found not only in the Spanish-Inca cities, but also in the ruins of the "lost city" of the Inca Empire, Machu Picchu, at an elevation of 2,450 m above sea level, 80 km from Cuzco.
Folklore is rich in elements from pre-Spanish rule and Mestizo traditions. The ancient Peruvians had a great architecture to harmonize their buildings with the natural landscape. The oldest colonial structure is Lima Cathedral.
Peru has many famous tourist destinations that are hard to explain scientifically.
In particular, the Nazca civilization is very unique. Monkeys, spiders and giant birds are all over the Nazca region, with shapes that are difficult to prove scientifically. It also has an amazing history of healing warriors who have suffered head injuries in war.
Peru is an amazing country the more you know about it. It is a fantastic country where agricultural and fishery products are grown in the desert, and cotton plantings and tourist destinations are diverse in the jungle and coast.
In Ica, my hometown, various fruits and vegetables loved by Koreans are grown. Food from pristine areas like avocados, potatoes, peppers and tomatoes is truly fascinating. For example, it is a country of agri-food paradise with about 300 kinds of potatoes and 12,000 kinds of peppers.
Curriculum vitae of Ambassador Daul Matute-Mejia of Peru in Seoul:
Place and date of birth: Ica, December 24, 1952.
Marital status: Married to Mrs. María Gabriela Blanco Correa
Children: Daniella Luciana Matute Blanco., Alexandra Stefanía Matute Blanco., Sebastián Alejandro Matute Blanco.
Universidad Nacional San Luis Gonzaga, 1969-1971.
Former Inter-Professional Coordination, Universidad Nacional Federico Villarreal, 1971-1972.
Law and Political Science, Universidad Nacional Federico Villarreal, 1973-1975. Peruvian Diplomatic Academy 1976-1978.
International Trade Diploma corresponding to the Fifteenth Advanced
International Trade Program, Escuela de Administración de Negocios para Graduados, (E.S.A.N.) 216 hours, 1988.
XXVIII Advanced Professional Training, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, 1989
Postgraduate Diploma in Public Management, Universidad de Lima, 2008.
Career Diplomat, Academia Diplomática del Perú, 1978.
Degree in International Relations, Academia Diplomática del Perú, 1978 and 2013.
Post Grade International Trade (ESAN)
Post Grade Public Management, Lima University
Registered in the diplomatic service, with the category of third secretary of chancery, from January 1, 1979
Promoted to Third Secretary on January 1, 1981
Promoted to Second Secretary on January 1, 1984
Promoted to First Secretary on January 1, 1989
Promoted to Counselor on January 1, 1993
Promoted to Minister Counselor on January 1, 1998
Promoted to Minister on January 1, 2002
Promoted to Ambassador on January 1, 2005
Present position: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Peru to the Republic of Korea
Positions held in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
1979 Third Secretary of Chancery of the Directorate of Protocol
1979 Third Secretary of Chancery of the General Directorate of Ceremonial of the General Directorate of Protocol
1980 Third Secretary of Chancery of the Directorate of Ceremonial
1980 Third Secretary of Chancery, nominated as Chief of Cabinet of the Secretary General of the Presidency of the Republic
1987 Second Secretary of the Department of Ecuador in the Under-Secretariat of Bilateral Political Affairs
1988 Second Secretary of the Under-Secretariat of Administration
1988 Second Secretary, Chief of Cabinet of the Under-Secretariat of Administration
1989 First Secretary of the Cabinet Management of the Secretary General and Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs
1989 First Secretary, Deputy Director in charge of the Cabinet Management of the Secretary General and Vice-minister of Foreign Affairs
1995 Counselor, appointed as Executive Secretary of the National Committee for Pacific Basin Affairs (PERUPEC)
1996 Counselor, Advisor to the Minister's Office. (APEC Themes)
2003 Minister, in charge of the North American Bureau of the Under-Secretariat for American Affairs
2004 Minister, North American Director of the Under-Secretariat for American Affairs
2005 Ambassador, Director General for Security and Defense Affairs
2006 Ambassador, Director General of Non-Communitarian Europe
2014 Ambassador, Adviser to the General Directorate of Economic Promotion 2015 Ambassador, Advisor to the Office of Specialized Advice of the Ministerial Office for Parliamentary Issues.
2015 Ambassador, Principal Senior Adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Peru and Parliamentary Advisor of the Cabinet of the Ministerial Office of Foreign Affairs
1981 Third Secretary of the Embassy of Peru in Sweden
1985 Second Secretary of the Embassy of Peru in Algeria
1991 First Secretary of the Embassy of Peru in the United States of America
1993 First Secretary, Consul Assigned in the Consulate General of Peru in Washington, United States of America
1994 Counselor of the Embassy of Peru in Japan
1995 Counselor, Assigned to the Embassy of Peru in Japan
1998 Minister Counselor of the Permanent Representation of Peru to the United Nations, (O.N.U.), based in New York, United States of America
1998 Minister Counselor, Alternate Permanent Representative of Peru to the United Nations, (O.N.U.), based in New York, United States of America
1998 Vice-Chairman of the Second Committee of the General Assembly of the United Nations
1998 Financing Expert for the United Nations Assembly
2000 Minister Counselor of the Embassy of Peru in the United States of America
2002 Minister of the Embassy of Peru in the United States of America
2009 Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Peru in the Republic of South Africa
2010 Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Peru in the Republic of South Africa and Concurring Ambassador to the Republic of Mozambique, residing in the city of Pretoria, Republic of South Africa
Ambassador Tatute-Mejia has participated as a delegate and representative of Peru in numerous international meetings and conferences
Languages: English, French
Decorations: Grade of Official of the Order of San Carlos, granted by the Government of Colombia, 1980
Royal Order of the Polar Star, First Grade, Sweden, 1985