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Pact should be done by 2015

Staff writer |
Negotiators from China, Japan, and South Korea called for the conclusion of a comprehensive trilateral free trade agreement by the end of 2015, officials said.

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"The three sides all agreed to accelerate the China-Japan-South Korea FTA negotiations, and we expect to conclude sooner than the RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership)," Assistant Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen said on the sidelines of the fifth round of China-Japan-South Korea FTA negotiations, which started on Monday. This round of talks in Beijing is scheduled to wrap up on Friday.

Ministers from 16 Asia-Pacific economies have agreed to finish the RCEP talks by 2015.

"But negotiations are hard to predict. We all have very good intentions to speed up, but we must reach a high-level and comprehensive pact. We will not sacrifice quality for speed, because quality is very important," said Wang, who is also head of the Chinese delegation.

The pact will forge a common market of 1.5 billion people with a combined GDP of $15 trillion..

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