Trade ministers of S Korea, China, Japan to discuss FTA

08:35, May 14, 2010      

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Trade ministers from South Korea, China and Japan will meet on May 23 in Seoul to discuss a three- way free trade agreement (FTA) and other tripartite cooperation, Seoul's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said Thursday.

The three ministers will focus on issues related to the formation of a free trade area among the three nations, and measures to push forward economic and trade cooperation, the ministry said.

The three nations recently held the first round of joint research meeting on the three-way FTA, the ministers are expected to discuss the results of the meeting, Seoul's Yonhap News Agency quoted a ministry official as saying.

The three nations have pledged to make efforts to complete the joint research ahead of the trilateral leaders' meeting of the three countries in 2012.

Research institutes of the three nations have carried out comprehensive and in-depth studies on the possibility of setting up a regional free trade zone since their leaders agreed on undertaking non-governmental academic research on the issue in 2002.

The studies came to a positive conclusion that the FTA will help eliminate trade barriers, expand regional market and promote economic integration among the three nations to achieve mutual benefit.



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