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Brunei-Japan FTA talks on the cards

Borneo Bulletin

Brunei-Japan FTA Talks On The Cards

By M K Anwar

18 February 2006

Bandar Seri Begawan - Brunei and Japan will hold two-day preparatory talks starting Monday to conclude a bilateral free trade agreement.

According to the Japanese Foreign Ministry, the two countries were expected to exchange information on areas of interest in a run up to the official FTA negotiations.

Kyodo News, quoting government sources-have reported that the two countries aimed at launching formal FTA negotiations by mid 2006.

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and the Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi agreed last December to start preparatory negotiations aimed at a formal free trade, pact.

Japan, one of Brunei’s largest oil and gas markets, during the preparatory talks, will decide the areas to be negotiated and included in the FTA with Brunei.

Asean and Japan are in formal FTA talks since April last year and the negotiations are to be completed by Spring 2007.