China, Japan, South Korea to sign investment agreement soon

China, Japan and South Korea are set to agree on an investment deal in May.

The deal marks the end of a nearly four-year long series of negotiations between the three countries, starting in March 2007. This March the thirteenth round of talks will take place, which should bring the agreement close to completion, according to The Nikkei.

The investment treaty will see the three nations chopping cross-border investment hurdles and changing foreign investment legislation and regulations to make it easier for their neighbours. This will allow much more investment freedom among the countries, which have already been stepping up their investment with each other.

Bilateral treaties already exist between some of the countries, but this move will mark the first trilateral agreement. It is particularly being pushed by Japan, which has been trying to expand its business in China and South Korea.

Japan and China already have an investment accord, but there are no protections in place for intellectual property, a problem that will be addressed in the new treaty. There will also be clauses included for addressing dispute settlements.

Given the volume of technology companies in all three countries, including Sony, Samsung, Toshiba, Lenovo and many more, the benefits of a trilateral investment treaty on the technology sector would be huge.

It is expected that the deal will come into force by the end of 2012, subject to parliamentary approval.

Meanwhile cross-Strait relations between Taiwan and China have been improving with growing trade agreements. One unnamed expat tells TechEye“Yes, the ECFA with China and Taiwan is solid now, and yes, China is thinking a very long term game. It wants to control the entire Asian region, then the world later.

“They are smart, and they will win.”