From April 23 to 24, the first round negotiation of China-GCC (Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf) FTA was held in Riyadh, capital of Saudi Arabia. Assistant Minister of Commerce Yi Xiaozhun leading a Chinese delegation attended this negotiation. During the course, both sides fully discussed the working system of FTA negotiation and tariff reduction on the goods trade. They also formulated the working outline for the FTA negotiation.

As a regional economic organization, GCC has 6 members: Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Bahrain. Recent years, economic and trade relations between China and GCC members developed rapidly. According to statistics from 1999 to 2004, bilateral trade between China and GCC increased by more than 40% pre year.

In 2004, trade value between the two sides reached US$ 24.736 billion, increased by 46.4% over the last year. Of which, China exported US$ 10.437 billion to GCC, 35.5% higher than last year; China imported US$ 14.299 billion from GCC, 50.6% higher than last year. The trade potential is huge for the strong complementary in the two economies. Both sides also have sound cooperative foreground on the mutual investment and energy cooperation.

China-GCC FTA negotiation shall cover goods trade, service trade and economic and technical cooperation, etc.


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