Vietnam, Japan continue negotiations on economic partnership pact

Bernama | 14 November 2007

Vietnam, Japan Continue Negotiations On Economic Partnership Pact

TOKYO, Nov 14 (Bernama) — Vietnam and Japan kicked off another round of their negotiations in Tokyo on a bilateral economic partnership agreement (EPA), which, once signed, would help boost the two countries’ economic ties, trade and investment and bring the bilateral ties to a new height.

Based on the progress made at previous rounds, Vietnamese and Japanese officials are expected to continue their talks on the trade of goods, which encompasses agriculture and industry, economic cooperation in agriculture, services, investment and business environment, intellectual property rights, and regulations on the origin of goods, according to a VNA report Wednesday.

Yasuo Tanabe, Vice Head of the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s Economic Department highlighted the efforts that Vietnam has made in the past five official negotiation rounds.

Though recognising the progress that the two sides have achieved in some areas related to the EPA, the Japanese official said differences still remained in some areas and expressed his hope that the upcoming talks will help narrow these differences.

For Tran Quoc Khanh, Head of the Vietnamese delegation to the talks, Japan should take into consideration the disparity in development levels between the two countries in negotiations.

He said he expected to see improvements coming from the upcoming talks so that the negotiation process for the EPA will be sped up.

Vietnam and Japan began their official negotiation on the EPA in mid-January this year.

The negotiation process has then been deployed in line with the two countries’ joint statement on "looking forward a strategic partnership for peace and prosperity in Asia" inked during Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s Japan visit in October, 2006.

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source: Bernama