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China on her way to sign more FTAs

(People's Daily Online)    13:11, June 05, 2015

China and South Korea formally signed a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) on Monday. The FTA, the largest for China so far in terms of trade volume and the areas it covers, was signed by China's Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng and his South Korean counterpart Yoon Sang-jick in Seoul, three years after the two sides started talks in 2012.

In a congratulatory letter to South Korean President Park Geun-hye, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that the FTA marks a "milestone" event - it will not only lead to new leaps in bilateral trade and economic ties and bring tangible benefits to the two peoples, but also allow them to make a greater contribution to regional integration in East Asia and the Asia-Pacific and global economic development.

Gao Hucheng wrote in People's Daily that the China and South Korea free trade area, is a key free trade area in Northeast Asian region, marking a big stride in the building of free trade area in the Asia-Pacific. It will help finalize a trilateral FTA linking China, South Korea and Japan and promote the negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership(RCEP) and Free Trade Agreement of the Asia Pacific.

China has signed 13 FTAs with 21 nations and regions

To date, China has signed FTAs with ASEAN, New Zealand, Singapore, Pakistan, Chile, Peru, Costa Rica, Iceland, Swiss, South Korea. In addition, the Chinese mainland has signed the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement with Hong Kong and Macau and completed the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement with Taiwan.

China tries to sign more FTAs

China is now involved in negotiations on eight FTAs covering 23 countries. These include the Gulf Cooperation Council, Australia, Sri Lanka, Norway, ASEAN and Pakistan, a trilateral FTA linking China, South Korea and Japan, and negotiations on the RCEP.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Ma Xiaochun,Gao Yinan)

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