Jiji Press | October 19, 2006
Japan, Vietnam to launch EPA talks in January 2007
The Japanese government plans to launch talks with Vietnam in January 2007 on concluding a bilateral economic partnership agreement featuring a free trade agreement, government sources said Wednesday.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his visiting Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Tan Dung are slated to agree on the launch of the EPA negotiations at their meeting here Thursday afternoon, the sources said.
Abe’s predecessor, Junichiro Koizumi, met Dung in Helsinki in early September at the annual Asia-Europe Meeting. The two were both positive about starting FTA talks at an early date, following two rounds of FTA study sessions earlier this year.
Dung arrived in Tokyo Wednesday on his first official visit as premier since assuming office in July.
He will also become the first leader to be received in Tokyo by new Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Hanoi will welcome Abe and other leaders next month when it hosts the annual summit of the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.
Vietnam, a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, is attracting keen attention from many Japanese companies due to its high-flying economy.
It expects trade with Japan to reach about US$10 billion this year.
The World Trade Organization is expected to approve the country’s accession possibly in early November.