Trade ministers of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) concluded their ninth meeting in Beijing on Saturday after exchanging ideas on a range of trilateral trade issues.
China's Minister of Commerce Chen Deming, Japanese Industry Minister Yukio Edano and ROK Trade Minister Bark Tae Ho attend the meeting, a day ahead of the fifth meeting of the leaders of the three Asian neighbors.
During a press conference, the three ministers announced they would submit a proposal to the leaders' meeting on signing trilateral investment agreement and initiating negotiations of setting up a free trade area within this year.
During the meeting, or the highest-level of its kind on economic and trade issues among the three countries, the trade ministers also discussed the Pan-Yellow Sea economic and technical exchange session, intellectual property cooperation and the 2012 Yeosu Korea World Expo.
Saturday's meeting was the first to be held in Beijing.
The fifth meeting of the leaders of China, Japan and ROK will be held in Beijing from May 13 to 14, which Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and ROK President Lee Myung-bak will attend.