Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Vietnam, Japan begin talks on economic partnership

Vietnam and Japan began Tuesday the first round of negotiations on an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) agreed upon by the two governments during Vietnamese PM Nguyen Tan Dung’s visit to Japan last year.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung agreed in October to start talks on a free trade agreement in January.

Speaking at the talks, chief negotiator Jun Yokota, who is also Ambassador for Economic and International Trade Affairs in the Japanese Foreign Ministry, hailed the political, diplomatic, and economic cooperation between Vietnam and Japan.

He hoped the EPA process would be hastened to further boost bilateral trade and investment cooperation.

Deputy Trade Minister Phan The Rue, who is leading the Vietnamese delegation, said he expected to have frank and substantial discussions on the basis of mutual interest and understanding so that agreement was reached soon.

The opening session was followed by meetings on trade in goods and services, competition, origin of goods, intellectual property, customs, and other issues.

The talks will end on Thursday.

Source: VNA

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