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China, Japan, S Korea push FTA talks
July 30, 2013, 10:27 am


First round talks were held in Seoul in March this year [Xinhua]

Second round talks on a possible tripartite free trade agreement between China, South Korea and Japan have begun in Shanghai.

The free trade agreement (FTA) was first proposed in November last year.

Current talks will focus on removing substantive tariffs, and addressing areas related to services and competition and intellectual property.

The three countries together have a market of 1.5 billion people, and had a total GDP of 14.3 trillion last year.

First round talks were held in Seoul in March this year.

Territorial disputes and differing views on market access have considerably slowed down negotiations between the three nations.

Japan and South Korea have been involved in a prolonged row over the disputed islands known as Dokdo in South Korea and Takeshima in Japan.

Sino-Japanese ties have also been under strain due to a territorial dispute over another set of islands.

China, Japan and South Korea are also discussing membership in the US-led Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade talks as well as the China-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

The RCEP would include the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the six countries that have an FTA with the group – India, Japan, China, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

Source: Agencies

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