Envoy Wooing Petronas to Join Peru's Oil Rush
Marco Balarezo, the new Peruvian ambassador here, is gregarious by nature with a quick laugh and smile, but becomes pensive when the question of bilateral trade and investment crops up.
By his own rueful admission, there is insignificant bilateral trade with Peru selling US$6 million (RM20 million) worth of agricultural products and seafood to Malaysia and Malaysia doing just a shade better.
The 54-year-old career diplomat, who took a short but significant walk into politics as vice-minister of defence, is not about to leave things be as they are.
As his country celebrates its 191st anniversary of the founding of the nation today, the envoy has been talking to Petronas, which is not yet in Peru.
"I am trying to convince it to go to Peru. Most of the international oil companies are already there," he said, rattling off names from a list of international oil giants.
Balarezo, who has also been deputy permanent representative of Peru to the United Nations in New York and director-general chief of cabinet and staff of the Ministry of Foreign Relations, has a master's degree from the Fletcher School of Diplomacy and Law.
The chess player, who also plays a little football, wants to contact fellow enthusiasts of the board game here who may enjoy a game or two with him.
For him, the opening move in bilateral relations, as in many a chess game, may have been weak. But he is only interested in ensuring an endgame that mutually benefits both countries.
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