China, S Korea, Japan to launch joint study on trilateral free trade deal

12:56, February 18, 2010      

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South Korea plans to launch a joint research with China and Japan on the feasibility of a free trade agreement (FTA) among the three Northeast Asian countries, South Korea's foreign ministry said Wednesday.

According to a report by the ministry, the country, which has been seeking an economic integration of the Northeast Asian region by creating favorable conditions for FTAs, will kick off a joint study with the countries, in which government officials, scholars and business representatives will participate.

Along with the trilateral FTA, the country will also continue to push for settling separate bilateral trade agreements with China and Japan, the ministry said in the report.

Currently, South Korea has free trade agreements with Chile, Singapore and the European Free Trade Association, as well as a similar pact with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Recently reaching a free trade deal with the European Union, the country also wrapped up its free trade talks with India, settling the so-called comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) in August.

With respect to the free trade deal with the United States, signed in June 2007, both countries are waiting for legislative approval.

South Korea is also seeking similar trade deals with Australia, Canada, and Mexico.

Source: Xinhua
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