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China and Gulf Cooperation Council Reach Consensus on Accelerating Free Trade Area Negotiation Process

  On January 17, 2014, the third round of the Strategic Dialogue between China and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) was held in Beijing. It was co-chaired by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah of Kuwait, the rotating president of the GCC. The joint press communique was issued after the meeting,, stressing to accelerate the China-GCC free trade area (FTA) negotiation process, stating that China and the GCC countries are highly complementary in economy and that establishing free trade area serves the common interests of both sides.

  China-GCC free trade area negotiation started in July 2004. So far it has finished five rounds of negotiations and two working group meetings. Negotiations have been suspended since 2009.

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