Read as much as you want on BostonGlobe.com, anywhere and anytime, for just 99¢.

Asian nations begin trade talks

South Korean farmers protested outside of talks on an Asian trade deal.

Lee Jin-man/Associated Press

South Korean farmers protested outside of talks on an Asian trade deal.

SEOUL — South Korea, China, and Japan launched the first round of negotiations Tuesday for a free-trade bloc that would be the world’s third-largest, after North America and the European Union.

South Korea said officials will discuss mostly administrative issues during the three days of talks in Seoul, which end Thursday. The meeting will determine the areas, from agriculture to intellectual property rights, that will be included in future negotiations.

Continue reading below

The official launch of the negotiations between the Asian rivals comes as efforts to lower tariffs and other trade barriers in the world’s major economies gain momentum.

On Monday, Japan agreed to start negotiations for a free- trade pact with the European Union, and earlier this month it said it will join talks on the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Separate trade talks are also underway between China and South Korea. Negotiations for a Japan-South Korea free-trade pact have yet to resume since being halted in 2004.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week