Challenges for China, Japan and South Korea to reach FTA
Seoul, South Korea (9 July 2014): While China, Japan and South Korea (CJK) have their bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with many countries around the globe, the three neighboring nations still shrug off such agreement among each other and it can take time for compromising, expert say.
Korea has up to 12 FTAs with 49 countries, China has 12 FTAs, and Japan has 13 but CJK have failed to reach agreement despite a series of negotiation meetings and formed many bilateral FTAs respectively.
Dr. Young gui Kim, Research Fellow of the Korea Institute for International Economy Policy (KIEP), said some obstacles have made the agreement unmoved and such obstacles are unlikely to achieve economy cooperation in the short future.
During a meeting on Tuesday with a group of international journalists led by the Hawai’i-based East-West Center, Dr. Young said the challenges are past history and territorial disputes, lack of political leadership, taking national politics as bigger than international relation, and lack of community spirits. Such obstacles have driven CJK into bogging down with the economic integration.
KIEP has designed both short-term policy directions — concluding a CJK FTA and establishing CJK’s Trilateral Economic Cooperation, a consultative body – and mid-term directions — moving CJK FTA to Northeast Asia (CJK, North Korea, Mongolia, the Russian Far East, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan), Dr. Young said.
The 4th CJK FTA negotiation meeting was held in Seoul from March 4 to 7, 2014 and the fifth gathering of the three nations was planned to be held in China in July this year.
KIEP is a government-funded research institutions founded in 1989 to help Korea respond effectively to the challenges from a broad and enhance the global status of Korea economy.
Dr. Young said although the institution is funded by the government, it has the task to give recommendations to the government based on its research results.