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FTAAP study 'up for consideration'

2014-08-20 17:05 chinadaily.com.cn Web Editor: Qin Dexing

Official feasibility study for the Asia-Pacific free trade agreement, or FTAAP, is still "up for consideration" as the Third Senior Officials' Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation is held in Beijing, a Japanese official told China Daily on Wednesday.

Regarding when the official feasibility study of the FTAAP will be launched, Tomo Uyama, deputy director-general of the Economic Affairs Bureau and Latin American & Caribbean Affairs Bureau of Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that "how exactly this will be done is a kind of up for consideration. I don't know when, so…we are kind of looking at the same direction and consider what the realistic way to do it is".

"There is firm agreement already that we should push this regional integration. …We talked about the pathway to the FTAAP. There are sort of rejections but we still have common view," Uyama said.

He added that "we, like others, join the common views that we should move toward the FTAAP".

China is APEC host this year and the meeting was a precursor to the economic leaders' meeting in November in Beijing. Chinese analysts expect the progress on the FTAAP to be a remarkable fruit in the November meeting.

The Asia-Pacific region has flourishing FTAs, like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), steered by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

The TPP and the RCEP are "the existing current efforts that we contribute to the eventual realization of the FTAAP. Both are possible corridor to the FTAAP and some others also. The FTAAP is eventually an integration of existing one. We have to promote the existing efforts to achieve FTAAP, Uyama said.

"The FTAAP is still an idea or common view," he added.

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