Jiji Press | September 29, 2013
Asia-Pacific countries hold talks on free trade deal
BRISBANE, Australia (Jiji Press)—Sixteen Asia-Pacific countries, including Japan, started substantive discussions on a proposed regional free trade agreement at a four-day working-level meeting in Brisbane, Australia.
During the meeting, which ended on Friday, the Japanese government reiterated its calls to discuss competition policy and intellectual property protection in addition to customs duties, services trade and investment.
The next meeting on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership free trade framework is set for Jan. 21 to 24 in Malaysia. The focus will be on the percentage of items subject to tariff elimination.
At their first ministerial meeting in August, the 16 nations agreed to adopt a broad framework by summer 2014.
The 16 countries involved are Japan, Australia, China, India, New Zealand, South Korea and the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.