ASEAN Looks To Sign China Agreement

New acess to China's information technolgy industy.

Economic ministers from Southeast Asia will sign a landmark agreement with China on Jan. 14 which will open its lucrative services sector, a senior trade official said Jan. 9.The deal will help firms gain access to China's multi-billion dollar service industries including banking, information technology and tourism.

Senior economic ministers are to meet Jan. 10 to prepare the agreement, which will be signed by all 10 Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) economic and trade ministers and China's commerce minister, Bo Xilai.

ASEAN, with a combined population of 470 million, has been fast-tracking efforts to open its economies to free trade in services and goods.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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