GCC-China free trade talks to continue


“The Chinese government, with the Chinese Ministry of Trade, has been in talks with GCC officials relating to establishing a free trade zone between the GCC and China for some time now,” said a spokesperson from the Chinese Embassy here.

The two sides, in their meeting in Riyadh, agreed to continue with the negotiations for a year, meeting every three months. The liberalisation of commodities and services will begin gradually, a Saudi news agency reported.

“This negotiation to establish a free trade zone will further increase trade relations between China and the GCC countries… this will enhance relations between the two sides and help increase mutual investments in various economic fields,” the spokesperson said.

The GCC countries are united in their position over the basic issues, especially removing customs fees. China agreed to liberalise many of its sectors and welcomed the building of strategic oil reserves and refineries through partnerships and cooperation between the two sides, the Saudi news agency stated.

According to statistics, trade between the GCC and China increased 40 percent between 1999 and 2004.

Since 2001, China has signed some 3,000 contracts totalling $ 2.7bn with the member states of the GCC, which includes Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

In 2004, an agreement on Economic, Trade, Investment, and Technological Cooperation was signed between China and the GCC and negotiations for a China-GCC free trade zone were initiated.

Meanwhile, the Chinese Embassy here announced it will celebrate the Chinese National Day, which falls on October 1, with a reception at the Doha Sheraton Hotel on September 30.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *