South Korea will map out its action plans on a free trade agreement (FTA) with China and Japan before the heads of state from the three Northeast Asian countries meet in May, the finance ministry said Tuesday.
"Based on consultations with China and Japan and the results of the joint study (which was recently completed), we will prepare our action plans before the summit talks," the finance ministry said in a press release.
Detailed timetables, a negotiation road map and other preparations will be included in the action plans, a ministry official noted. South Korea, China and Japan recently concluded a year-long joint study on the feasibility of an FTA with their final meeting in PyeongChang, some 180 kilometers east of Seoul.
They concluded the deal would be a "win-win-win" action that would provide a comprehensive cooperation platform for all three countries. The three will submit their final report based on the outcome of the talks to the May summit in Beijing, South Korean Yonhap news Agency reported.
South Korea is expecting to benefit most from the free trade deal with its neighboring economic powers. Last week, the finance ministry said in a report that South Korea will be the "largest beneficiary" from the envisioned economic integration given its heavy reliance on trade for its growth.
The three Asian countries have seen their share of global trade grow over past few decades. Last year, they accounted for a combined 17.7% of global trade, compared with 11.7% tallied in 1992, according to the report.