Japan to start free trade talks with Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia

TOKYO - Japan is likely to start negotiations for free trade agreements with the Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia before the end of this year, a news report said Sunday.

The free trade talks between Japan and the three Southeast Asian countries are likely to start immediately after Japanese and Southeast Asian officials draft reports on the economic benefits of the deals, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun said.

Summit in Tokyo

The reports are expected to be drawn up before the special summit between Japan and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) member countries, due to be held in Tokyo from December 11, the business daily said.

However, the talks are likely to be difficult, since Japan has been reluctant to accept calls for abolishing tariffs on rice, chicken and other agricultural products by Thailand. The Philippines and Malaysia have also asked Japan to allow them to send nurses and other personnel to work in Japan, the newspaper said. - AFP


Bron : Malaysiakini

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