China seeks FTA with Saudi Arabia, GCC
At a recent meeting with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Saudi King Abdullah Ibn Abdulaziz Al Saud, Jiabao revealed that China is seeking a free-trade agreement (FTA) with Saudi Arabia and several Arab countries in the Middle East.
Wen also called for increased bilateral trade in energy, trade and telecommunication sectors with Saudi Arabia, and that China was also seeking a free-trade agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council.
“As both China and Saudi Arabia witness rapid economic growth, the two sides should seize the opportunity to expand cooperation and achieve common development,” Wen said, the <i>AP</i> quoting the <i>Xinhua</i> news agency.
The trip was Saudi King Abdullah Ibn Abdulaziz Al Saud's first to China, as well as his first trip overseas since taking the throne.
Diplomatic relations were established between China, the world's second largest oil consumer, and Saudi Arabia in 1990.
Seventeen percent of China’s imported oil originates in Saudi Arabia.