FTA talks to be announced among Korea, China, Japan

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FTA talks to be announced among Korea, China, Japan

Korea, China and Japan plan to declare an official start of negotiations to forge a three-way free trade pact when their trade ministers meet on the sidelines of a regional summit in Cambodia this week, government officials said yesterday.

The leaders of the three countries gathered in Phnom Penh for a set of annual summits hosted by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and their trade ministers plan to meet today on the sidelines to declare the start of free trade talks.

The three-party pact is expected to create one of the world’s largest markets since Korea, China and Japan account for 20 percent of the global GDP, 17.5 percent of all global trade and 22 percent of global population.

Today’s declaration is interpreted as a positive sign that the three countries intend to move cooperation forward despite recent territorial and sovereignty rows.

The plan to have the trade ministers make the declaration, rather than the leaders, however, shows tensions still weigh heavily on their ties.

Yonhap

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