Muscat Daily | 22 October 2023
GCC-China discuss free trade agreement
Muscat – Oman participated in the GCC-China Economy and Trade Ministers’ Meeting held on Sunday in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou.
China will work with the GCC to foster bilateral trade and investment as part of efforts to carry out eight newly proposed major steps to bring Belt and Road cooperation to a new stage of development, China’s Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao said on Sunday.
Wang made the remarks at the meeting with the six member states of the GCC.
Efforts were pledged at the meeting to align Belt and Road cooperation with the development strategies of GCC member countries and to expand cooperation in areas including digital economy, sustainable development and infrastructure.
Wang informed that China will work to reach a free trade agreement with the GCC, support the exchange of the two sides’ sovereign wealth funds and explore infrastructure cooperation in ports, aviation, communications and pipelines.
Oman’s delegation was headed by H E Qais bin Mohammed al Yousef, Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment Promotion.
Speaking at the meet, Jasem Mohamed al Budaiwi, Secretary-General of GCC, stressed that the free trade agreement between the GCC countries and China, which is currently being negotiated, will undoubtedly be one of the important factors in strengthening GCC-China relations in all fields, especially economic and investments.
It will contribute significantly to increase the exchange of trade between the two sides, and serve as a catalyst for regional economies.
The two sides will also explore opportunities for infrastructure cooperation in areas such as ports, aviation, communications and pipelines.
In addition, they will actively promote energy transformation and cooperation in clean energy such as solar photovoltaic, wind power, nuclear, hydrogen and biomass, as well as in power batteries and smart charging piles, Wang informed.