Chinese, Japanese, South Korean leaders meet to increase cooperation (Lead)

December 13th, 2008 - 5:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Fukuoka (Japan), Dec 13 (Xinhua) Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, his Japanese counterpart Taro Aso and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak held a tripartite summit meeting here Saturday to promote cooperation in addressing the global financial meltdown.At the meeting, the leaders also discussed trilateral ties, the ongoing global financial crisis and other issues of common concern.

Wen said at the start of the meeting that all major economies have been hit by the deepening global financial crisis and economic growth across the world has been severely affected.

He added that under these circumstances, it was of great importance that the three countries discuss ways to strengthen trilateral cooperation, jointly address the financial crisis, boost economic growth, promote integration in East Asia, and safeguard stability of the region and the world.

Japan is now China’s third largest trading partner, while China is Japan’s largest trading partner. China has become South Korea’s biggest trading partner and bilateral trade reached $159 billion last year.

The three leaders were expected to issue a joint statement on the tripartite partnership after the meeting. The leaders would also hold a joint press conference and meet youth representatives from the three countries.

Wen, who arrived here Saturday morning, had said he attached great importance to the trilateral talks exploring how the three nations can work together to overcome the global financial crisis.

The three countries signed bilateral agreements with each other on currency exchange Friday, displaying readiness for further cooperation in the face of the global financial crisis, Wen said.

The agreements would boost confidence among the public and help the three countries tide over the difficulties, he added.

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