|12-30-2014, 03:47 PM||#1|
China to accelerate free trade agreements negotiations with GCC members
China is said to step up talks of free trade agreements (FTA) with six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, according to state media as it seeks to cut costs on its imports from the region, mainly energy.
"GCC countries consider China as a major market for their petrochemical products, and this (FTA) will assist those nations in their industrial development," Zhang Shaogang, head of the Commerce Ministry`s international trade and economic affairs department, was quoted as saying by the China Daily.
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates started FTA talks with china in 2004.
Since then, China and the GCC held five rounds of talks and have reached agreements but mostly on goods trade. Service trade negotiations are still ongoing.
In 2014, China has also signed large FTAs with Australia, South Korea, Costa Rica, Peru and New Zealand.
China’s shipping to the GCC mainly consists of construction machinery, manufacturing equipment, textiles garments and household appliances. Passenger vehicles made in China are also becoming very popular in the region.
Crude oil, petrochemicals and fertilizers are among the biggest products shipped to China. Goods like olive oil, marble and sesame products are finding a new large market in China.
China is expected to become the largest export market for Gulf members by 2020.
This is the latest action taken by China to internationalize the use of the yuan.
In November, the People’s Bank of China announced the launch of a clearing bank for transactions between oil exporting states of the Gulf in China’s yuan currency.
Having a clearing bank in different countries can notably reduce the cost and the time associated with trading.
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