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China, Japan, ROK end 1st FTA talks with progress


17:42, March 28, 2013

SEOUL, March 28 (Xinhua) -- China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) ended the first round of trilateral talks on a free trade agreement (FTA), setting up detailed rules for future negotiations, Seoul's trade ministry said Thursday.

"At this round of talks, the three countries adopted detailed rules on the negotiation that include basic principles and guidelines, while discussing overall administrative issues such as the scope of the three-way FTA negotiations and the formation of working groups that will be the foundation of future negotiation," the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said in a press release after the three-day talks ended in central Seoul.

The scope of the negotiation will be based on joint research reports between industry, academy and government, the ministry said, noting that a new issue could be added to the negotiating table following agreement among the three parties.

Negotiation on goods, services and investments will proceed simultaneously, while the three parties agreed on the formation of working groups for goods, services and investments.

It was agreed upon that concession talks on goods will be made bilaterally or trilaterally, while those for services and investments will be made trilaterally "in principle."

The three sides have agreed to hold two more rounds of talks within this year, with the second round scheduled to be held in June or July in China, the ministry said.

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