See More on Facebook

Economics

Korea, China, Japan to discuss regional free trade deal in Beijing

China moves in with RCEP due to be completed later this year.


Written by

Updated: December 6, 2018

Representatives of South Korea, China and Japan are to discuss a regional free trade deal in Beijing from Thursday to accelerate negotiations on market liberalization for products, services and investment, the Seoul government said Wednesday.

The two-day negotiations will be attended by senior trade officials representing the three nations, who will discuss ways to open up goods and services markets and lower other trade barriers, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said.

This is the 14th round of negotiations. The three countries last held talks in March in Seoul.

 

The talks come at a time when China is seeking to strike trade pacts with other nations amid rising pressure from the United States, but the trio has made little progress since the first round of negotiations in 2012.

The three Northeast Asian nations are also working with other countries in the Asia-Pacific region to build a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a large-scale trade deal involving 16 nations.

RCEP is, in essence, a massive regional trade deal between the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the six countries with which ASEAN has free trade agreements — Korea, China, Japan, India, Australia and New Zealand. RCEP negotiations are expected to be completed by the end of next year.

Yoo Myung-hee, Korea’s deputy minister for trade negotiations, will call for a trilateral FTA that functions at a higher level than RCEP by lowering barriers in goods, service and investment sectors, the ministry said.

The lack of progress on a trilateral pact between Korea, China and Japan stems from differences on the appropriate level of market liberalization as well as political issues.

In terms of markets, “Korea and China, particularly China, have resisted opening their markets on manufacturing, automobiles and digital devices (in) which Japan has world-class competitiveness,” said Suh Jin-kyo, a senior researcher at the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy.

“Korea and Japan, particularly Japan, have also resisted opening their agriculture markets to China, which has cost competitiveness,” Suh said.

As to the political issues, Japan’s refusal to acknowledge and make proper reparations for its historical and wartime atrocities has created tension in its relationships with Korea and China, which has also affected their trade talks, he said.

If the trade deal among the three nations is sealed, the trade volume will account for around 19 percent of the world’s total trade, making it the third-largest trade bloc surpassed only by the European Union and North America.

A decade after the trade deal is signed, Korea’s gross domestic product can be expected to rise 1.45 percent, according to KIEP. Currently, China is Korea’s largest trade partner and Japan is its third-largest trade partner, with the US at No. 2.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


The Korea Herald
About the Author: The Korea Herald is the nation’s largest English-language daily and the country’s sole member of the Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Economics

Taiwan becomes first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage

The legislation was passed on Friday. Taiwan made history on May 17 as the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage, after most lawmakers of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) voted to pass a Cabinet-sponsored bill that gives gay couples the right to get married. The bill, titled Enforcement Act of Judicial Yuan Interpretation No. 748, cleared the legislative floor at 3:30 p.m. on Friday. The new law will take effect May 24, allowing two persons of the same gender, aged 18 or older, to register a marriage, with at least two witnesses signing the registration document. Either partner in the marriage will be allowed to adopt the biological children of the other, under the law. However, non-biological children who had been adopted by one partner before the marriage cannot be adopted by the other partner, it states. The New Power Party (NPP) caucus had submitted a motion


By ANN Members
May 19, 2019

Economics

Bangladeshis will be richer than Indians by 2030

This according to a new report by Standard Chartered bank. Bangladeshis will be richer than Indians by 2030 as the country’s per capita income will grow nearly four times throughout the 2020s, according to Standard Chartered — in yet another endorsement of its tremendous growth momentum. The per capita income of Bangladesh will rise to $5,734.6 in 2030. India’s will edge up to $5,423.4 after growing less than three times, according to a research note from Madhur Jha, Standard Chartered India’s head of thematic research, and David Mann, the bank’s global chief economist. Last year, Bangladesh’s per capita income stood at $1,599.8 and India’s $1,913.2. The note highlights the economies around the world that are likely to grow the fastest in the 2020s. The threshold for the list is 7 percent, the approximate growth rate at which an economy can double in size every 10 years.


By Daily Star
May 17, 2019

Economics

Jobless rate hits 19-year high in Korea

Rate rises on back of youth unemployment. South Korea’s job market prolonged its downswing in April, with unemployment reaching its highest point in 19 years, government data showed Wednesday. The increasing pace of job creation also slowed further, especially in the retail and manufacturing sectors and among the economically active 30-40 age group. According to job figures released by Statistics Korea, the total number of jobless people surpassed 1.24 million as of April for the first time since the government started compiling the data in June 1999. The jobless rate stood at 4.4 percent, up 0.3 percentage point from a year earlier and marking the highest for any April since 2000, when Asia’s fourth-largest economy was reeling under the aftermaths of the Asian Financial Crisis. The jobless rate for young adults — those aged between 15 and 29 — also rose to a record-high 11


By The Korea Herald
May 16, 2019

Economics

Beijing stresses equality in trade talks with Washington

World market confidence dampened by escalation, Chinese state media says. Consultations between China and the United States are not a one-way street, and should be conducted amid a spirit of equality, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Monday in Russia. Wang said that it is pointless for one side to blame the other, or even to absolve themselves from responsibility. Wang stressed if one side is trying to place extreme pressure on the other, it will cause a legitimate counterattack. “The measures from us are not only to safeguard China’s own rights, but to protect the basic rules of the current multilateral trading mechanism,” Wang said. Wang made the remark in a joint news conference with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov during his visit to the Black Sea coastal city of Sochi. Experts warned that the rising US tariffs on Ch


By China Daily
May 16, 2019

Economics

South Korea jobless rate rises to 4.4% in April

Weak job markets and uncertain macroeconomics have contributed to increased unemployment. South Korea’s jobless rate rose to 4.4 percent in April, government data showed Wednesday, in the latest sign of a weak job market amid an economic slowdown in Asia’s fourth-largest economy. The unemployment rate increased 0.3 percentage point from a year earlier, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea. It also marked the highest level for any April since 2000, when the corresponding figure stood at 4.5 percent. The number of employed people reached 27.03 million in April, an increase of 171,000 from the same month in 2018.


By The Korea Herald
May 15, 2019

Economics

Beijing vows retaliation on US trade

Ministry expresses ‘deep regrets’ in wake of added tariffs on Chinese goods. The Ministry of Commerce expressed “deep regrets” on Friday at the United States’ move to impose additional tariffs on Chinese imports and vowed to take necessary countermeasures. The comments came shortly after the US increased the rate of additional duties on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent, a move that economists said amounts to “typical trade bullying” that will backfire to hurt its own interests. The commerce ministry said in a statement that the 11th round of China-US high-level economic and trade consultations are underway, and China hopes the two sides can work together to resolve existing issues cooperatively. Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a daily news briefing that a healthy and stable Sino-US relationship serves the


By China Daily
May 13, 2019