Wen presents proposal for economic cooperation with Japan, S. Korea

08:13, May 23, 2011      

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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Sunday put forward a four-point proposal for boosting China-Japan-South Korea economic cooperation.

Wen, in a speech at a trilateral business summit luncheon, said he profoundly exchanged views with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak on trilateral economic cooperation and reached important consensus earlier Sunday.

Wen presented a four-point proposal for promoting trilateral economic cooperation in the speech.

First, the three countries should expand trade, Wen said.

The three countries are among the world's top 10 countries in terms of foreign trade, but trade among the three only accounts for 11 percent of their total foreign trade volume. Therefore there is much room for further development of trilateral trade, Wen said.

"We should act in light of the situation, further open markets to each other, reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers and comprehensively expand cooperation in customs, quality inspection, transport, movement of people and other fields to improve environment for tripartite trade," the premier said.

Wen said the three countries are expected to start negotiations on the establishment of a trilateral free trade zone next year, adding China is willing to push forward the negotiations with greatest sincerity.

Second, the three countries should deepen investment cooperation, Wen said.

Mutual investment among the three countries makes up for less than 10 percent of their total foreign investment, so there is huge potential for cooperation in this field, he said.

Since 2005, the three governments have made arduous efforts in reaching a trilateral investment treaty. They have held 12 rounds of talks on the treaty and reached agreement on the majority of issues.

Wen said China would like to exert biggest efforts to wrap up the talks by the end of this year.

Third, the three countries should promote cooperation in green economy and circular economy, said Wen.

The three countries are all poor in terms of per capita natural resources, Wen said, adding that developing green economy and circular economy and realizing sustainable development are their common objectives.

China is willing to strengthen cooperation with Japan and South Korea in renewable energy such as wind and solar energy, Wen said.

China proposes establishing a tripartite innovation alliance in renewable energy production, study and research, he said.

Fourth, the three countries should boost cooperation in disaster prevention and reduction and post-disaster reconstruction, Wen said.

They face the common challenges of frequent natural disasters, he said, adding the three governments have agreed to promote disaster management cooperation.

China suggests the three countries jointly carry out earthquake, tsunami and volcano research. He said China would like to provide initial funds for the research program.

Premier Wen visited Japan on Saturday and Sunday for a China-Japan-South Korea summit and a trip to the quake and tsunami disaster zone in northeastern Japan.

China currently is the biggest trading partner for both Japan and South Korea. In 2010, China-Japan trade reached nearly 300 billion U.S. dollars, while China-South Korea trade totalled over 200 billion U.S. dollars, both of which made new highs.

Japan and South Korea are China's major sources of foreign investment. They have established nearly 100,000 companies in China with an accumulative investment of 120 billion U.S. dollars.

Source: Xinhua
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