German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday pressed for the rapid implementation of an EU free trade deal with Colombia and Peru, saying it was a good way to foster growth during the eurozone crisis.
Speaking after meeting Peruvian President Ollanta Humala, Merkel said: "Particularly in a situation where some European countries are having economic difficulties, a free-trade agreement with Colombia and Peru is a good sign to promote growth.
"Therefore we want it to come into force quickly," the chancellor added.
Last month, European Union trade ministers gave the green light to a free-trade deal with Colombia and Peru.
The ministers approved the signature and provisional application of an accord first initialled in March 2011 "to eliminate high tariffs, tackle technical barriers to trade, liberalise services markets, protect EU geographical indications and open up public procurement markets."
During the eurozone debt crisis, EU leaders have repeatedly stressed the importance of free trade in bolstering the economy.
Following the last EU summit in May, leaders said there was a need for European institutions to "pursue their work on how to better use international trade as an engine for growth."
For his part, Humala said the EU was a "very important partner" for Peru and that the eurozone crisis was not having a direct impact on his country but that it was being felt in declining raw material prices.
"We are a country that relies mainly on producing commodities, so it does affect us to a certain extent. We have felt the drop in commodities prices. That has affected our exports," said Humala, speaking through an interpreter.