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China-Japan-Korea

The governments of China, South Korea and Japan are expected to commence negotiations on an eventual trilateral free trade agreement between the three countries during 2012 by first concluding bilateral agreements.

In December 2011, the three countries held a final joint study meeting on the feasibility of an FTA among them.

In January 2012, the South Korean and Chinese presidents announced that they would move towards negotiating a bilateral agreement between the two countries. In March 2012, the three countries concluded an investment agreement among themselves which is viewed as a step towards a more comprehensive FTA. In May 2012, China and Korea held their first round of negotiations towards an FTA in Beijing.

Negotiations on a Japan-Korea bilateral FTA, which stalled in 2004, despite several attempts to revive them, have to contend with unresolved tensions stemming from the Japanese occupation of Korea in the first half of the 20th century and Japanese resistance to lowering tariffs on agricultural imports. Any eventual FTA between China, South Korea and Japan needs to be seen in the context of ongoing economic and political rivalry between China and the USA, as Washington pursues plans to create a new regional free trade and investment agreement by joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

last update: May 2012


Korean petrochemical industry to be most affected by Korea-China FTA
Those in the petrochemical industry are unhappy about the provisionally-signed Korea-China FTA, because the synthetic resin and rubber imported from China wil be subject to immediate tariff elimination
S. Korea, China initial bilateral free trade pact
South Korea and China initialed their free trade agreement (FTA) Wednesday, taking a step closer to implementing what South Korean officials hail as the most significant trade deal for the country.
S. Korea, China expected to initial free trade deal next week: official
A high-level trade ministry official in Seoul says the two sides have reached agreement on a number of previously unresolved technical issues during closed-door talks.
Concerns over backlash: Implementation of Korea-China FTA around the corner
The Korean government is planning to provisionally sign the Korea-China FTA and make public the schedule of concessions this week.
6th round of Korea-China-Japan FTA negotiations held in Japan
The sixth round of negotiations for a trilateral free trade agreement (FTA) between South Korea, China, and Japan was held in Tokyo, Japan from Jan. 16 to 17.
Japan under pressure for trilateral FTA after China-Korea FTA sealed
China and South Korea are set to complete negotiations on a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) by the end of this year, which is expected to push Japan to step up the China-South Korea-Japan trilateral FTA negotiations, reports Shanghai’s China Business News.
Korea-China FTA signaling tectonic upheaval in domestic financial industry
The Korean government and financial institutions are planning to more than double the ratio of yuan-based trade settlements next year after the conclusion of the Korea-China FTA.
China, South Korea sign ’substantial conclusion’ of free trade deal
Chinese and South Korean leaders on Monday signed a "substantial conclusion" of a free trade agreement that will sharply reduce barriers to commerce between the two trading giants, but leaves in place those on rice and automobiles.
Park, Xi set to celebrate FTA in Beijing
Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi agreed to make the utmost effort to finalize ongoing negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) during talks in Beijing on Friday.
China, S Korea remain with tariff differences in FTA talks
In the latest round of free trade agreement (FTA) talks between South Korea and China, the two sides were still unable to agree the scale and timing of tariff cuts on their respective ultra-sensitive goods.