China seeks rapid completion of free trade pact

Wen urges both sides to show political will to bring about quick conclusion of long-running negotiations.

Sharjah: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao called for the quick conclusion
of talks on a free trade pact with the GCC during a visit to the UAE

“Both sides need to show political will to sign the agreement as
soon as possible,” Wen told participants at the fourth edition of the
Chinese-Arab business conference in Sharjah.

“The negotiations have been going on for seven and a half years,
while business communities on both sides would like to see” an agreement
concluded, he said.

“The launch of a free trade area will bring benefits to both
sides,” added the Chinese leader who is touring the Gulf amid fears that
rising tensions over Iran’s nuclear programme will disrupt world oil

The current Eurozone crisis means that China could become an
alternative market for exports and investments from the Arab world, said
Mohammad Bin Yousuf, director-general of the Arab Industrial
Development and Mining Organisation.

By 2015, China’s dependence on Arab oil will reach 70 per cent and by 2030 will hit 90 per cent, he noted.

Promising sectors for Chinese investments in the Arab world
include petrochemicals, chemicals and fertilisers, steel and alum-inium,
industrial services electric equipment, agricultural products, car
manufacturing and infrastructure, said Bin Yousuf during a presentation
on Chinese-Arab industrial investment opportunities.

To read more please visit Gulf News

Article by Links Group on Jan 19th 2012

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