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FTA will promote economic integration in East Asia

By Zhong Sheng (People's Daily)

16:28, May 14, 2012

Edited and translated by People's Daily Online

China, Japan and South Korea will start the negotiation on their Free Trade Area as soon as possible. It is an important achievement made by the three countries to deepen their economic and trade cooperation.

The feasibility study for the China, Japan and South Korea Free Trade Area has been carried out for a long period. With joint efforts by the three countries, the “Joint Research Report of Government, Production and Study” had been completed by the end of 2011, which believes that the Free Trade Area is feasible, will bring practical benefits to the three countries and promote the economic integration of East Asia, and is good for the economic integration of the Asia-Pacific Region.

The total trade among China, Japan and South Korea accounts for only 20 percent of the total foreign trade of the tree countries, much lower than the 63.2 percent of the globally-developed single market of the European Union. The mutual investments among the three countries are also low. Therefore, it accords with the current economic development trend that China, Japan and South Korea carry out sustainable economic cooperation, realize the common prosperity and promote the negotiation on the Free Trade Area.

China always holds an active and cooperative attitude on the construction of the Free Trade Area. China insists on taking the “10+3” as the main mode for the integration of East Asia and has done a lot of practical work for the economic and trade cooperation of the three countries and for promoting the negotiation on the Free Trade Area. China actively participated in the negotiation on the China, Japan and South Korea Investment Agreement and has signed the draft of the agreement.

The economy of China, Japan and South Korea accounts for 20 percent of the global economy, and the three countries play important roles in the global manufacturing area, research and development area and economic and trade area of the world. Especially, in the current situation that the United States has not fully recovered from the economic crisis and the European debt crisis is still worsening, the Asia-Pacific Region must fully play its role as one of the “three global economic engines.” After the China, Japan and South Korea Free Trade Area is completed, it will certainly add more energy into the “engine.”

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