GCC, China sign action plan for years 2014-17

January 17, 2014 - 12:03:18 pm

BEIJING: The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and China signed an action plan for the years 2014-17, aimed at fostering cooperation in political consultations, education, culture, youth, environment and health.

The action plan was signed by Kuwait First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al Hamad Al Sabah, GCC Secretary General Abdulateef Al-Zayani and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, KUNA reported.

The signing ceremony took place during the Third GCC-China Strategic Dialogue, co-chaired by Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled and Yi.

The two sides discussed a host of political and economic issues with the objective of boosting cooperation between the two sides.

At his opening speech, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled said China was a strategic partner for the GCC countries, and called for the resumption of negotiations to establish a free trade zone.

Sheikh Sabah noted that trade exchange surged from USD nine billion in 2022 to around USD 150 billion in 2012.

"The rapid growth of trade exchange between the Republic of China and the GCC countries stemmed from the integration between the two sides, bearing in mind that the GCC countries are the major energy exporter to China primarily oil and gas."

Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled hoped today's dialogue would be an opportunity to discuss the resumption of negotiations aimed at signing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which would pave way for the establishment of the free trade zone. (QNA)