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    » 05/14/2012, 00.00


    Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo hold talks over free trade zone

    The new zone would unite a market of 1.5 billion people, with a GDP growth of 3%. In 2011 trade between the three countries amounted to 690 billion U.S. dollars, 130 billion in 1999. Analysts expect frictions with the United States over the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership. Agreement on the reduction of tension in the region and the Korean peninsula.

    Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The leaders of China, South Korea and Japan have agreed to begin negotiating a free trade zone among the three countries. The summit taking place yesterday and today, should, in the words of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, "unleash the economic vitality of the region and give a strong impetus to economic integration of Eastern Asia."

    Wen, his Japanese counterpart Yoshihiko Noda, and Korean President Lee Myung Bak have also signed a trilateral agreement for mutual investments, as a first step towards economic integration, which should - in the words of Noda - make "the Asia-Pacific a center of world growth. "

    The leaders emphasized that the idea of ​​a free trade zone is urgent because of the economic crisis in the European Union and the United States, global protectionist policies, and the "unstable elements" that will last a long time.

    The area would create a market of over 1.5 billion people. According to Xinhua, it would boost China's GDP by 3% ,  Korean by 3.1, and Japanese by 0.5. The Korean Ministry of Commerce estimates that the proposal will create at least 300 thousand new jobs in Korea. The annual volume of trade between the three countries has already reached 690 billion U.S. dollars in 2011 and in 1999 it was only 130 billion.

    But there are several difficulties to overcome. First widespread distrust and enmity between the three countries, since the invasion of China and Korea by Japan, the Korean War, in which Beijing supported the North and the current strong economic competition.

    According to analysts, the three countries have many industries that compete in the same field, such as automotive and agriculture industries, and these may be difficult to integrate. In addition, the proposal could also face a similar one made by the United States, which is pushing for a Trans-Pacific Partnership, towards which Japan has shown interest, unlike China and South Korea.

    China has already signed free trade agreements with 10 economies, including New Zealand and Singapore and is negotiating agreements with Iceland, Norway and Colombia.

    The three leaders also agreed not to increase tension in the region and particularly on the Korean peninsula.

    Lee Myung Bak said that the three nations will not accept "any further nuclear tests or new provocations."


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    See also

    05/05/2005 CHINA – JAPAN – SOUTH KOREA
    China seeks free trade zone with Japan, South Korea

    21/11/2011 CHINA – US – KOREA
    Beijing to entice Seoul and Tokyo with an anti-US free trade zone
    In response to Washington’s Trans-Pacific proposal last week, China wants to persuade Korea and Japan to set up a trilateral free trade zone. However, old disagreements and hatreds are a major obstacle.

    12/04/2012 JAPAN - GREAT BRITAIN
    Noda and Cameron meet, talk defence
    The two leaders met on Tuesday and Wednesday in Tokyo. Defence was at the centre of their talks. Great Britain will be only the second country after the United States to cooperate with Japan on weapons development. Cameron calls on Japan to agree to an EU-Japan free trade agreement.

    30/09/2013 CHINA
    Shanghai, the free-trade zone opened. But without its creator
    The premier Li Keqiang absent at the ceremony that launches 29 sq km economic and monetary openness in the country. The rules will be made known only in a few months, and analysts are cautious: "We will see its effects with time". Hong Kong "reassured" by the government.

    23/05/2011 JAPAN – CHINA – KOREA
    Tokyo, Beijing and Seoul to work together for everyone’s benefit
    Naoto Kan leads Chinese PM Wen and South Korean President Lee on a visit to the area hit by quake and tsunami. He pledges a new phase in relations with Japan’s neighbours and “maximum transparency” in sharing information on nuclear dangers. Beijing and Tokyo sign trade deal.

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