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S. Korea says latest FTA talks with Japan, China constructive

Yonhap News, S. Korea

S. Korea says latest FTA talks with Japan, China constructive

2 August 2013

SEJONG, Aug. 2 (Yonhap) — The latest round of talks with Japan and China for a three-way free trade agreement (FTA) ended Friday after what South Korea called "constructive discussions."

"At the second round of negotiations, (the countries) discussed key issues, such as the scope and means of lowering import tariffs and the scope of negotiations, based on the terms of reference adopted at the first round of negotiations," South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said in a press release.

The second round of FTA talks were held from Tuesday in Shanghai, China.

The ministry said the four-day talks also included working group meetings on products, service and competition, as well as an experts’ dialogue on intellectual property and e-trading.

Seoul noted the second round of talks ended with no immediate or visible progress, but said the talks were still very constructive.

"The Korea-China-Japan FTA is still in its early stage where the framework for negotiations and key issues are still being materialized," it said.

"The countries held constructive discussions aimed at establishing an institutional framework to ensure economic cooperation between the three countries through the Korea-China-Japan FTA."

The third round of negotiations will be held in Japan in November or December with a specific date to be set for future discussions, it added.