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China, Japan, South Korea Conclude Joint FTA Study

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

26 December 2011


At a recent meeting finalising a joint study on the proposed China-Japan-South Korea free trade agreement (CJKFTA), held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, a start was recommended to its negotiation as soon as possible.

Representatives from the three countries discussed and approved details of the joint study at the meeting, and all three parties then signed a joint statement announcing its completion and proposing future CJKFTA negotiations.

The leaders of China, Japan and South Korea had agreed in 2002 to carry out non-governmental academic research on the trilateral FTA. From 2003 to 2009, the research institutions of the three nations made comprehensive and in-depth analyses and research about the feasibility on establishing the agreement.

It was concluded that a CJKFTA could remove bilateral and trilateral barriers to trade in goods, services and investment, thereby expanding the regional market advancing economic cooperation, and realizing a “win-win situation” for all of the countries. The combined economies of the three countries are said to account already for some 20% of global gross domestic product (and 17.7% of the world’s trade), but that the potential to be exploited by their economic integration could be significant.

On a second meeting of leaders of China, Japan and South Korea in October 2009, a consensus was reached on initiating the joint FTA study, which was finally started in May 2010. Subsequently, during the further meeting of the three leaders in May 2011, the consensus was to complete the study by the end of 2011, and to begin to make arrangements for negotiation of the FTA as soon as possible thereafter.

It is expected that the South Korean government will now prepare an action plan, determining time schedules and a roadmap for completion of the CJKFTA, before the next leaders’ meeting in May 2012.

TAGS: tax | free trade agreement (FTA) | mining | tariffs | China | agreements | Korea, South | trade | Japan | services

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