Bernama | August 24, 2011
Korea, China, Japan to hold 6th study meeting on FTA
SEOUL, Aug 24 (Bernama) — South Korea, China and Japan will hold their sixth joint study meeting next week on the feasibility of a free trade agreement (FTA) among the three Northeast Asian countries, trade ministry said on Wednesday.
The meeting will be held in Changchun in northeastern China from Wednesday to Friday, according to the ministry.
During the upcoming meeting, the three nations will discuss a draft of commodities trade and other issues, such as service and investment, reports Yonhap news agency citing the ministry as saying.
In May, the leaders from the three nations agreed to conclude the joint study before the end of the year. In May 2010, the three nations launched the project with the aim of concluding it by the end of 2012.
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak said earlier that Seoul needs to consider a free trade agreement with Beijing in order to keep up with other nations that have been seeking to expand trade with China.
Free trade talks between Seoul and Tokyo have been stalled since late 2004, mainly because of Japan’s reluctance to lower tariffs on agricultural goods.
The two countries started preliminary talks to resume the stalled negotiations in June 2008 and have since met four times, including the latest meeting in December 2009.