The three major traders of northeast Asia have agreed to launch negotiations on a three-way free trade agreement at a summit. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao urged Japan and South Korea to cooperate economically, as a stepping stone towards conquering political distrust, trade barriers and investment policies that have long divided the three nations.

“Northeast Asia is the most economically vibrant region in the world,” constituting 19.6% of global gross domestic product and 18.5% exports in 2010, according to Mr. Wen and a feasibility study. The FTA will also boost economic integration in east Asia and could lift each countries’ GDP.

China is the biggest trading partner of both Japan and South Korea. The FTA runs parallel with the US’ trans-Pacific Partnership to further enhance regional economic flows. Japan will promote both trade negotiation proposals while South Korea and China would not. The talks also includes resolutions to deal with North Korea.