ASEAN, Japan agree to work toward launching new trade talks update

Economic ministers from Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations agreed Saturday to work toward launching negotiations by the end of this year to forge an ambitious Asia-wide free trade agreement involving up to 16 countries.


Japanese trade minister Yukio Edano and his counterparts from ASEAN struck the deal on the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership at a one-day meeting in Tokyo, according to a statement issued after the Japan-ASEAN ministerial meeting in Tokyo.
The agreement marks the start of substantive moves to create a vast trade bloc encompassing up to the 10 members of ASEAN and six countries around the region with a total population of more than 3 billion.

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