Visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao said Wednesday that China will seek an early free trade agreement (FTA) with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

"The FTA is in the fundamental and long-term interests of both sides and will help deepen their mutually beneficial cooperation and achieve common development," Hu said during a meeting with GCC Secretary General Abdul Rahman Al-Attiya in Riyadh, where the council is headquartered.

"China will work actively toward signing the agreement at an early date," Hu said.

Al-Attiya echoed Hu's views and pledged efforts to complete the FTA talks as soon as possible.

China and the GCC launched FTA negotiations in July 2004, and the first round of the talks took place in April 2005.

Approved by:MINISTRY OF COMMERCE,PRC     Supported by:China International Electronic Commerce Center