The elimination of Europe's visa requirements for Peruvians and Colombians will not cause a "stampede" of Peruvians seeking jobs, but it will create an opportunity for to learn about other realities, Peru's foreign minister, Eda Rivas, said Wednesday at a forum organized by Agencia Efe.

Rivas thanked the Spanish government for the initiative and said the main benefit for Peru would be "being able to give young people the opportunity to learn about other realities and appreciate them."

"Peru has left behind the image of being a dangerous country, with terrorism, from which people want to leave. Today, it is all the opposite," Rivas said during the inauguration of the "Agencia Efe Breakfast" discussion series in Lima, an event that drew leading members of Peru's political, business and media worlds.

"Spain's initiative to eliminate the requirement of obtaining Schengen visas for short stays for tourism - which has received strong backing from the European Parliament - is a clear example" of how far Peru has come, the foreign minister said.

The proposal, however, still has "a long road to travel" because "it is hard to rid one's head of images of a country that is no longer that way," Rivas said.

Peru's younger generations have "job opportunities in their own country" and "this (the elimination of visas) is not going to be a stampede of Peruvians going to look for work in Europe, just the opposite," the foreign minister said.

"The greatest fruit of this is to be able to give these people access so they can learn about other realities, which is the start of a close relationship, knowing each other helps us understand each other," Rivas said.

Regarding Spanish investment in Peru, Rivas said her country provided a stable legal system, making it an "interesting destination" where the government was now seeking "investment with technology exchanges."

The breakfast forum was attended by ambassadors, high-level Peruvian officials and executives from the Peruvian units of Spanish multinationals, as well as Peruvian business leaders, politicians and journalists.

The forum was presented by Agencia Efe director of editorial operations Maria Luisa Azpiazu and sponsored by Spain's Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas, or FCC.

This was the first breakfast forum sponsored by Agencia Efe, Spain's international news agency, in Peru. EFE