LIMA, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Peru led Latin America in economic growth in 2017, thanks to a thriving export sector, Peru's Foreign Trade and Tourism Minister Eduardo Ferreyros said Tuesday.
The South American country saw a 2.5-percent expansion in gross domestic product (GDP) last year, more than Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico, said Ferreyros.
Peru's exports grew by 44.2 billion U.S. dollars, a record high in the past six years, and one of the highest globally, he said.
"Peru's (export) leadership is reflected in its top position worldwide, ranking in third place among more than 200 (countries or regions) that saw the biggest growth in exports," Ferreyros told participants at Exportaciones Peru 2017, a trade event held at Lima's convention center.
Peru's exports to China, especially minerals, agricultural goods and seafood products, helped drive growth, he said.
"China is our leading trade partner, the country that buys the most Peruvian export products overall," Ferreyros told Xinhua following the event.
"It's an important market. China is an excellent trade partner and we will continue to export to them," he added.
Peru exports various goods from copper, iron and zinc to alpaca and llama wool to China, with which it signed a free trade agreement in 2009.
"We want to continue to increase our exports of nontraditional products, and to do that we have lifted the sanitary barriers that were placed on cranberries and prawns," said Ferreyros.