Asian giants aim free trade
China, Japan and South Korea will begin talks for a free trade agreement between themselves.
A spokesperson for the Chinese Trade Ministry, Shin Danyang, said that the first round of talks between the three countries would take place in Seoul on March 26-28.
Danyang stressed that the possible free trade agreement would be beneficial for the whole region.
Three meetings between China, Japan and South Korea are expected within 2013 for the free trade agreement.
Three giant economies of Asia, China, Japan and South Korea have various political disputes among themselves.
China and Japan have disagreed on disputed islands in the East China Sea for a long time where both countries stake claims to potentially valuable gas reserves as well as fishing disputes.
Trilateral cooperation had first begun in 1999. China, Japan and South Korea three largest economies of Asia, had started negotiations on free trade pact in Beijing in 2012. The three leaders signed a trilateral investment agreement as well that was seen as a stepping stone to a free-trade zone. Trade between the three countries had reached $690bn in 2011, up from only $130bn in 1999, according to a Chinese government report.
China is the biggest trading partner of both Japan and South Korea and it has free-trade agreements with 10 economies including New Zealand and Singapore according to the Commerce Ministry’s website.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013