China, South Korea and Japan will hold top-negotiator talks for the trilateral free trade agreement (FTA) this week in Seoul.
South Korea's Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said Monday that the seventh round of negotiations among chief negotiators of the three Asian powerhouses will be held from Tuesday to Wednesday in Seoul.
Since the sixth round, the three countries divided the negotiating groups into working-level and chief negotiators to make a rapid advancement in the talks. The seventh round of working-level negotiations was held in Seoul last month.
Participating in the upcoming negotiations will be Wang Shouwen, vice minister of China's Ministry of Commerce, South Korean assistant Commerce Minister Kim Hak-do and Japan's deputy Foreign Minister Yasumasa Nagamine.
The top negotiators will discuss key issues, including modality, or basis guideline, on how to liberalize goods and services about which the three sides have yet to reach a conclusion.
Under the principle of the comprehensive and high-level FTA, the three countries have discussed a wide range of issues, including goods, services, investment, country of origin, customs, trade remedy, intellectual property rights and e-commerce, since the negotiations began in November 2012.
In 2012, combined gross domestic product of the three countries reached 14.3 trillion U.S. dollars, taking up some 20 percent of the world total and 70 percent of Asia's total. The combined volume of exports and imports was 5.4 trillion dollars, or 35 percent of the world total, in 2012.