China, Japan and South Korea launched FTA negotiations Published: 2012-11-22 16:35:00

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FTA negotiations between China, Japan, S.Korea to begin next year

Trade ministers from China, Japan and South Korea announced Tuesday the launch of the Free Trade Area (FTA) negotiations, a move that will strengthen economic ties of the three major economies, China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said Tuesday.


"If the FTA talks go smoothly, regional trade and economic integration will be greatly boosted,"Xu Ningning, the secretary-general of China-ASEAN Business Council, said.

Research has shown the FTA will boost China's GDP by up to 2.9 percent, and up to 0.5 percent for Japan and up to 3.1 percent for the ROK. While the US and Europe are struggling to overcome economic malaise and volatility, the FTA is a protective screen to shield external turbulence.

The potential FTA was projected to create new jobs of between 190,000 and 250,000 within five years, while 240,000 and 330,000 jobs were estimated to be created 10 years after the deal is implemented, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance of South Korea said on May 2.


◆Boosting domestic demand will require a lengthy time to show results as the economy depends on the low labor costs, which led to a comparatively weak domestic consumption. China needs to find a new route and FTAs are one alternative. ------Liu Jinhe, a research fellow at Samsung Economic Research Institute

◆An FTA is strongly in the economic interest of all three countries, but it is unlikely to come into existence in the near term for both international reasons and the domestic situation in Japan and South Korea.------John Ross, a visiting professor at Antai College of Economics and Management of Shanghai Jiao Tong University

◆Taking a glance at Asia's free trade area map, one can feel not only the invisible forces that seek to edge out China, but also China's restraint and tolerance. Undoubtedly, China has already become the engine of the Asian economy, and politically the most influential country in this region.------Global Times editorial

◆The China-Japan-South Korea FTA can allow these countries to fully play to their own advantages and work together to avoid economic turmoil, because they are geographically close and economically complementary to each other.------Zhang Jianping, a researcher at the Academy of Macroeconomic Research under the National Development and Reform Commission

◆Territorial disputes between China and Japan as well as Japan and South Korea presented indirect obstacles for the FTA talks.
------Mei Xinyu, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation affiliated to the Ministry of Commerce

                    FTA agreements

Operating FTA agreements 
It was signed in December of 1992 and known in full as the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement was signed in 1975 as the longest standing preferential trade agreement among developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
ASEAN Free Trade Area was signed in January of 1992, it covers all 10 ASEAN members.
It was signed in 2005, it is known in full as the Trans-Pacific Partnership which is a multilateral free trade accord that strives to liberalize the economies of the Asia-Pacific region.
 Negotiating FTA agreements
Fully known as the ASEAN Economic Community, it is aimed at achieving a single market for free movement of goods, services, capital and skilled laborers among the ASEAN members.
Or East Asia Free Trade Agreement or ASEAN+3 (China, Japan and South Korea), it is aimed at forging a free trade area among these economies.
Or Comprehensive Economic Partnership for East Asia or ASEAN+6 (Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea), it is aimed at forming a free trade area.

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New agreements by US do not block Asian integration

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