MCOT | 18 Dec 2009
Japan, Mongolia agree to study possibility of bilateral FTA
TOKYO, Dec 18 (Kyodo) — Japan and Mongolia on Thursday agreed to hold working-level talks to study whether the two countries should conclude a bilateral free trade agreement, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said.
The agreement was reached between Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada and his Mongolian counterpart Gombojavyn Zandanshatar in Tokyo, who expressed his country’s intention an seeking an FTA.
Zandanshatar is visiting Japan for the first time since he assumed the post of minister of foreign affairs and trade in November.
During the working-level talks, the two countries hope to look into the economic benefits of an economic partnership agreement. The talks will be a step toward considering the launching of government-private sector research on the matter, a Japanese Foreign Ministry official said.
An economic partnership agreement goes beyond a free trade agreement, which aims mainly at removing tariffs on goods and trade barriers for services, and covers areas such as intellectual property rights and investment protection rules.
Meanwhile, Zandanshatar also voiced hope that Japan would cooperate in his country’s development of mineral resources, such as uranium. Okada promised to enhance Japan’s support, according to the official. (Kyodo)