The Ninth Economic & Trade Ministers’ Meeting among China, the Republic of Korea and Japan

The Economic and Trade Ministers from the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of Korea and Japan met in Beijing, China on 12 May 2012 for the Ninth Economic and Trade Ministers’ Meeting among the three countries. The joint press release is as follows:

Recognizing that protecting and promoting a free and open trade and investment environment will effectively assure robust and sustainable development in the three countries, we have reached the following consensus.

In view of the growing importance of the trilateral investment framework to further strengthen the economic partnership among the three countries, we welcomed the conclusion of the negotiations on the Trilateral Investment Agreement.

We reviewed the report of the Joint Study for an FTA among the three countries, and agreed with the conclusions that the establishment of an FTA among the People’s Republic of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea will strengthen the existing relations of the three countries not only by expanding trilateral and bilateral trade and investment, but also providing a comprehensive and institutional framework in which a wide range of trilateral cooperation would evolve. We further agreed to recommend to the forthcoming Trilateral Summit Meeting that the trilateral FTA negotiation would be launched within this year. To achieve this end, the three countries should immediately start preparation work including domestic procedures and working level consultations.

We shared the view that IPR protection contributes to the sound economic development in today’s global economy. We welcomed the trilateral cooperation in patent and look forward to furthering trilateral cooperation on IPR in the future.

We were pleased to note the discussions and the policy recommendations and welcomed the proposals to explore ways for the trilateral coordination, consultation and cooperation mechanism for global market among engineering companies in the three countries at the Trilateral Engineering Business Roundtable held in Tokyo last October. We look forward to making further progress in trilateral cooperation in a wide range of business aspect as well as infrastructure projects in third country markets.

We recognized the constructive role of the Yellow Sea Rim Economic and Technological Conference among the three countries in moving forward trilateral sub-regional cooperation in areas such as trade and investment promotion, industrial and logistics cooperation, science and technology exchanges, and human resource development. We encouraged the continuation and further enhancement of such trilateral sub-regional cooperation among subnational entities. We noted with appreciation China’s initiative to develop the Shandong Peninsula Blue Economic Zone in Shandong Province of the People’s Republic of China and shared the expectation that the initiative will promote economic development in the region.

We welcomed the successful opening of the International Exposition Yeosu Korea 2012 under the theme “The Living Ocean and Coast”. We acknowledged the importance of the exposition and pledged to continue our efforts and collaboration for its success.

We affirmed our major role to promote East Asian economic integration and reaffirmed the need to establish the ASEAN Plus Working Groups without delay to enable the early launch of the negotiations for a comprehensive RCEP agreement, taking into account the EAFTA and CEPEA initiatives.

We reaffirmed our solid trilateral cooperation in major global fora such as the G20 and the WTO. We expressed our commitment to concerted efforts to tackle global economic issues. In order to strengthen a free, open and rule-based multilateral trading system, we affirmed to resist protectionism in all forms. We are determined to work towards concluding the Doha Development Agenda in a single undertaking based on the progress already made in accordance with its mandate. We recognize the need to more fully explore different negotiating approaches while respecting the principles of transparency and inclusiveness and increase efforts to first advance the negotiations in areas where progress can be achieved. We decided to strengthen cooperation on launching negotiations to expand the product coverage and membership of the WTO Information Technology Agreement.

We agree to further strengthen cooperation under regional frameworks such as APEC. We welcomed various cooperative initiatives to promote visualization of international supply chains and adopt concrete measures to enhance the capacity of local/regional logistics sub-providers. We committed to achieving an APEC-wide target of 10% improvement in supply chain performance of APEC regions by 2015, in terms of reduction of time, cost, and uncertainty of moving goods and services through the Asia-Pacific region. We reiterated our commitment to taking concrete actions to implement the consensus on promoting green growth reached at the APEC Honolulu Declaration last year. We confirmed that effective, non-discriminatory and market-driven innovation policies are critical to increasing productivity and ensuring economic growth. We reaffirmed the importance of supporting our ambitious vision for a seamless regional economy through our abiding commitment to delivering effective economic and technical cooperation.

We decided to hold the next Trilateral Economic and Trade Ministers’ Meeting in the host country of the 2013 Trilateral Summit Meeting.

Source: Ministry of Commerce Website; http://english.mofcom.gov.cn/aarticle/newsrelease/significantnews/201205/20120508124477.html

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