Official FTA talks among Korea, China and Japan will resume in eight months.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) of Korea announced on Dec. 5 that it will hold the 14th official Korea-China-Japan FTA talks in Beijing on Dec. 6 and 7.
In the upcoming talks that follow the 13th round of negotiations held in Seoul in March, the three countries will check progress in key issues, including the opening of goods and services markets and areas reserved for domestic investment, and discuss ways for cooperation to accelerate negotiations among them.
In addition, they will assess progress in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations made at the RCEP Summit last month. They are all participating in the RCE). The three countries are expected to reaffirm that the Korea-China-Japan FTA will pursue a higher level of trade liberalization than the RCEP.
The RCEP aims to conclude an ASEAN-led trade system with the participation of 16 countries -- the 10 ASEAN countries, three Northeast Asian countries, Australia, New Zealand and India. However, the Korea-China-Japan FTA has made little progress for the past five years since the first round of negotiations in March 2013.
“The three countries each have different sensitive due to their different industrial structures,” a MOTIE official said. "China is sensitive to Japanese manufacturing and Japan is sensitive to China's agricultural products and Korea is sensitive to Chinese agricultural products and Japanese manufacturing. So it's not easy to find a breakthrough.”