China, GCC members to strengthen Belt and Road trade cooperation

China, GCC members to strengthen Belt and Road trade cooperation

Guangzhou, The Gulf Observer: China will work with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to foster bilateral trade and investment as part of efforts to carry out the newly proposed eight major steps to bring Belt and Road cooperation to a new stage of higher-quality and higher-level development, China’s Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao said on Sunday.

Wang made the remarks at a meeting of the economic and trade ministers of China and the six member states of the GCC held in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou.

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.

China will work to reach a free trade agreement with the GCC, support the exchanges of the two sides’ sovereign wealth funds, and explore infrastructure cooperation in ports, aviation, communications and pipelines, said Wang.

The meeting reached a broad consensus on issues such as jointly safeguarding the multilateral trading system, promoting two-way investment, deepening cooperation in industrial and supply chains, improving connectivity, and promoting energy transformation.

A joint statement on deepening economic and trade cooperation was issued during the meeting.