China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) signed a deal on Sunday in Beijing to promote and protect trilateral investment after more than 13 rounds of talks over the past five years.
The deal was clinched Sunday morning as leaders of the three countries met in the Chinese capital for a meeting chaired by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.
Talks aimed at reaching the deal began in 2007. Since then, the three nations had held 13 rounds of official negotiations and several other informal consultations by March, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said in a statement on its website.
The inked agreement, which has 27 terms and an additional protocol, includes every important aspect that an international investment agreement should have, said the statement.
The deal, the first legal instrument to promote and protect investment between the three nations, is regarded as a milestone, it said.
It laid a solid foundation for the establishment of a free trade area (FTA) among the three nations and will ensure a transparent and stable investment environment for investors, according to the MOC statement.
The fifth meeting of the leaders of China, Japan and the ROK kicked off on Sunday and was attended by Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and ROK President Lee Myung-bak.
At the meeting, the three sides agreed to launch talks on an FTA this year.