Tuesday, 26th March 2013
In Business In Japan,
Japan begins South Korea and China free trade talks
Japan has begun talks with both South Korea and China about signing a free trade agreement.
If negotiations are successful it will be the third largest free trade agreement (FTA) in the world after North America and the European Union.
A statement from South Korea said that officials will discuss the agreement during three days of talks that will end on Thursday (March 28th) and that it is mostly administrative issues that remain.
The talks will decide what areas the FTA will cover including intellectual property and agriculture.
A deal has long been a topic of conversation in the area but obstacles such as long-standing territorial disputes have stalled them.
The current talks are taking place in Seoul, followed by the next round in China and concluding with negotiations in Japan.
Together the economies are worth an estimated $690 billion in trade volume, according to records in 2011.
The three countries, which are all major economies for each other, have had tensions in the past, but this agreement looks to be the start of a new relationship among the nations.
Written by Graham McPherson