South Korea, China, Japan to start free trade talks
SEOUL - The Associated Press
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (R) walks in front of Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda as they arrive for the ASEAN Plus Three session of the 21st ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and East Asia summits in Phnom Penh November 19, 2012. REUTERS photoSouth Korea’s trade minister says South Korea, China and Japan will soon start talks for a free trade pact encompassing the three Asian economic powers.
Bark Tae-ho said Monday that the decision to start talks will be officially announced Tuesday at the East Asia Summit in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh.
Bark said the trade pact would help boost economic growth and pave the way for more stable political relationships in the region where China and Japan have been at odds over the sovereignty of islands in the East China Sea.
Relations between South Korea and Japan have also been strained by a territorial dispute.
China and Japan are the world’s second and third biggest economies. South Korea is the 15th largest and home to giant companies such as Samsung.